“YOU have ears but you’re not listening” was just one accusation levelled during an angry face to face meeting between Bulmer House care home supporters and Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry.
More than 80 campaigners packed the Rose Room at the Festival Hall in Petersfield to try and dissuade the county council from demolishing the Petersfield home, which offers residential care to elderly dementia suffers.
If closure goes ahead, the audience of all ages heard, it is likely the land will be given to a developer to build extra assisted care flats, to be leased back to the council, sold or privately rented to elderly tenants.
One campaigner said the town’s elderly were coming second to the desire to make a “quick buck.”
Cllr Perry also explained why the councillor who is due to decide on the demolition plan wasn’t at the meeting.
He said: “Cllr Anna McNair Scott has to be objective – you can write to either of us with your views.”
He added that a petition, regardless of how many thousand signatures it has, does not carry any weight. An audience member replied: “As the decison maker she needs to hear what is said, rather than get it second hand through a carefully worded report.”
Gill Duncan, the county council’s head of elderly care, said it would cost more than the estimated price of a new build, £2.5m, to refurbish the Ramshill home. It then took considerable firmness by the meeting chairman, Petersfield town councillor Sue Harwood, to restore order.
Throughout, the audience refused to be swayed by repeated reassurances that no decision had been made into the home’s future – even though its rooms were small and demand for beds was falling, said Mrs Duncan.
A campaigner replied: “If no decision has been made, why is pressure being put on residents to move? Demand is falling because it is being put about that Bulmer House hasn’t got a future.”
Mrs Duncan said it would be unfair to offer places at the moment, and although agreeing residents were being asked to leave, she denied they were being pushed out, and offered to meet those who felt that way.
Bulmer House is on the agenda for the district council community forum meeting at Penns Place in Petersfield next Wednesday, October 9, at 6.30pm.
Contact the Post on 01730 232600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments on this issue.
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Weather for Petersfield
Saturday 07 December 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 10 C
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