Council leader to meet threatened care home staff

Greenwood House care home, West Town, which may be closed
Greenwood House care home, West Town, which may be closed
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Leader of the council Marco Cereste has had a change of heart and promised to meet campaigners who are protesting against the closure of two care homes.

Cllr Cereste was invited to meet the Greenwood House and Welland House Service Users Support Group, which was set up following the start of a consultation on the future of the two homes.

Peterborough City Council has earmarked both for closure which would force 32 residents to move out and about 80 day care residents to find another centre.

On Friday, the group received a letter from Cllr Cereste who said it was not necessary to meet campaigners during the consultation but today (Monday) he changed his mind.

He has now agreed to meet protestors on Wednesday, August 29.

Cllr Cereste said: “I decided I wanted to speak to talk to them. This will be to get a proper feeling of what they want to say.

“I want to listen to them, I am not going with any conditions or preconceived ideas, I’m just going to talk to them.”

In his letter to the action group Cllr Cereste also said it would not be appropriate to hold a city-wide referendum on the closure but campaigners promised to press him further on the issue.

Donna Bennett, chairman of the group, said: “It is good he has changed his mind, although it seems a bit strange how it has come about. We want to talk through all the options that are available with Cllr Cereste.

“We also want to make it clear that we won’t go quietly, although we don’t want to alienate Cllr Cereste.

“We think it is vital there are residential places for older people that are in the public sector, not privately owned, and that’s what we are campaigning for.”