Debate over care home changes

There was heated argument at Peterborough City Council as councillors discussed the closure a care home for children in Peterborough.

Saturday, 27th October 2018, 6:00 am
Save the Manor protest in Bridge Street. (front left) Neil Webber. (back right) John Webber EMN-180418-153304009

Nearly 1,000 people had signed a petition against the closure of The Manor in Dogsthorpe as long ago as March, but controversially the matter only came up for debate at a Peterborough City Council meeting at the Town Hall last week.

The centre looks after children with issues including autism and severe learning difficulties.

Leader of the council Cllr John Holdich said while it was regrettable the issue had not been discussed earlier and before a committee, The Manor is not actually closing; the council is only proposing to do away with the overnight provision, which last year had a very low 22 per cent occupancy rate.

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All councillors agreed that this was a very important facility for the city, but Cllr David Seaton saidthere was no question of the council not retaining The Manor, simply that it couldn’t justify to tax payers keeping a service going 24 hours a day, with only a 22 per cent night time occupancy.

He went on to say that no children had suffered as a result of the decision which has already seen many of the night time staff moved away to other facilities in the region, as indeed have any affected children.

The Manor remains open during daytime hours.

Councillors voted to note the report, but took no further action.

When the changes to the opening hours of the centre, were announced earlier this year, parents carried out protests outside the Town Hall.