On 14 April members of the public joined Labour County, District and Town Councillors joined protesters standing against Gloucestershire County Council plans to close The Elms, Stonehouse.

The Elms provides residential, respite and nursing care for up to 45 people. It’s one of four homes scheduled for closure under plans going to consultation.

County Councillor Steve Robinson (Lab, Nailsworth) commented “if this closure goes ahead it will be the third residential home Gloucestershire County Council have closed in the Stroud area over the last three years. This leaves no residential home directly owned by GCC in the Stroud area. So, if they don’t pay for private beds, families will have to travel miles to see their loved ones”.

District Councillor Mattie Ross (Lab, Stonehouse) said “I’ve been contacted by local people who have relatives in The Elms and they are concerned that so little notice was given of the proposed closure. It’s a huge concern for them, this is their home, this is where they live, and the future for them is so uncertain. This is about people, real people.”

The consultation states that increased costs and recruitment issues are behind the proposal, not local community need. The closure of The Elms would mean vulnerable people with complex needs will be forced either to live in the community, with the very limited care that this involves, or to pay for private care. Staff are also concerned for their future. Our care residents deserve better than this.

People who are concerned should respond to the County Council consultation which runs until 20 May.

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