200 people sign petition in fight to save care home in Congleton (Video)
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a care home from closure are urging residents to form an action group.
More than 200 people have already signed a petition to keep Mountview Community Support Centre, in Congleton, open.
The petition was launched on Saturday afternoon during a protest in the town centre.
Cheshire East Council has just started a six-week public consultation after ordering a review into the future of the Melton Drive centre.
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The council would save £325,000-a-year by closing the 35-bed Mountview and sending users to Crewe or Macclesfield instead.
But residents who signed the petition over the weekend are determined to save the facility.
Retired postman George Bossons believes Mountview acts as a lifeline for his 71-year-old brother Frank, who has learning difficulties and regularly uses the centre.
The 57-year-old, of Belgrave Avenue, Congleton said: "Frank has been going there for the last three years and he is a different person. The staff are fantastic.
"I don't think it is promoted well enough. We only found out that he could have 56 days of respite per year after he had been in hospital.
"We have seen some private care places which want £2,000 for a fortnight. He can go there for about £153 per week."
Wife Lisa, a 47-year-old college lecturer, added: "If Mountview closed I think we would have to consider whether Frank could still live in his own home."
Ernie Clarke, aged 70, of St John's Road, Buglawton, a former Congleton Town councillor, said: "I fought to keep Fellowship House open in Congleton and when that closed the council moved people to Mountview.
"They can't keep moving old people around like cattle. Many have dementia and I dread to think what will happen if they have to move again."
Mountview offers respite and convalescence care along with a 16-bed day care unit.
Its staff are already subject to a 90-day consultation after being warned their jobs are at risk.
One of the petition organisers, Steve Ranger, of Balmoral Drive, Holmes Chapel, said: "This campaign isn't just about the older people who use Mountview but the younger ones who act as their carers when they are at home.
"It seems like when cutbacks are made in this region they happen in Congleton. People are very concerned about this and I am not surprised by the response we saw at the weekend."
The consultation runs until April 25. To take part call 01270 371376.