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8,500 oppose closure plan

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More than 8,500 people have signed a petition opposing the closure of a care home in Boughton.

It is the largest number of signatures presented among all eight care homes earmarked for closure in Nottinghamshire.

A total of 8,566 people signed the petition to try to stop Bishops Court closing.

Organised by the Bishops Court Action Group, the petition was presented to Nottinghamshire County Council last week.

The council has earmarked eight homes for closure, including Bishops Court, and plans to replace them with extra care places, where people are put into sheltered accommodation and book visits from nurses.

A member of the action group, Mr Chris Butcher of Dove Croft, Ollerton, said that the petition took a couple of weeks to get together.

He said many people in the area were willing to support their campaign.

“This is not just council policy, it is government policy. It is quite obvious to me that they want to get rid and sell to private enterprise,” he said.

“The support we have had was fantastic. Nobody refused to sign the petition. We did what we could but I don’t know what we can do next.”

Mr Butcher felt public opinion meant nothing to councillors and no matter how many people signed petitions, they didn’t always get action.

Mr Butcher said that one good thing to come out of the action group was that all the friends and relatives of the residents had got to know each other.

The group raised £500 from car boot sales, which paid for the catering so that the home’s staff could enjoy a party without having to cater for residents and guests.

Mr Butcher said: “People who I had never met before the action group went along. I have made life-long friends through Bishops Court.

“It was a celebration of the home for all the residents and relatives, they pay to be there and it is their home.”

More than 18,000 people have signed eight different petitions opposing the plans for the closure of the care homes.

Consultation on the proposals will end on Friday. A report will then be prepared and presented to councillors in March.

People can give their views by phoning 08449 808080, emailing communications.ssd@nottscc.gov.uk or visiting www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/futurecare-questionnaire.com

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