MP takes action over plans to close Wessex Place

January 8, 2009 11:29 AM
Councillor Catherine Smart

Councillor Catherine Smart - "residents need support."

Cambridge MP David Howarth is working to help elderly residents who face losing their home with the closure of the city's Wessex Place.

Mr Howarth hopes that by working with the Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust and the Granta Housing Society a solution can be found for the 19 residents.

He said: "This is a very worrying situation. The residents of Wessex Place are elderly and suffering mental health problems and I am concerned that moving them to an unfamiliar environment could put them at risk.

"I am also concerned that this decision has been taken without any public consultation and without the offer of any alternative accommodation.

"I want to reassure the residents and their families that I will do everything in my power to help. I hope that by getting round the table with the PCT and the housing society, we can find a satisfactory solution."

Mr Howarth has already met with representatives from the health service union, Unison and the Wessex Place management.

The decision to close Wessex Place in Magrath Avenue came after the Granta Housing Society notified the PCT of its plan to withdraw its services when its agreement expired in April.

Executive councillor for housing, Catherine Smart said: "The residents are vulnerable with complex needs and require a high level of support. This is extremely costly and. if the residents are to be relocated, it cannot be done lightly. It is imperative that this is taken into account and they are provided with the support that they need.

"The Government, the PCT, all of us, need to accept this and budget appropriately."

Geoff Heathcock, Lib Dem spokes for health and adult social care has asked for the decision to be examined by Cambridgeshire County Council's scrutiny committee.

He said "I am not at all satisfied at how the closure proposal has come about or the lack of proper consideration being shown to the residents who see Wessex as their settled home."

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