THE battle to save Kirklees care homes continued in Huddersfield.
Councillors arriving for the Kirklees Council meeting yesterday were lobbied by protesters angry at plans to close some homes.
A 6,000-name petition was handed in at the town hall by members of the council workers' union Unison and officials of an action group, Relatives Action Group for the Elderly (Rage).
The council plans to shut two out of five homes under review and spend £4m on adapting the others for use as day and resource centres for the elderly.
Graham Paisley, a chief steward with Unison, said: "We hope there is still a chance we can change the decisions.
"We also fear the remaining seven care homes in Kirklees will be subject to a review and will end up closing".
Kirklees' Labour group is backing the protests.
Group leader Clr Mehboob Khan said: "The facts are that in the 1980s the Conservative government introduced changes to funding rules that prevented councils from modernising council-run homes for the elderly.
"The changes also increased the cost of places in council homes, in comparison to places in private homes. How Tory councillors can criticise Labour is beyond me.
"The Labour group has worked closely with Unison and Rage to keep homes open," he added.
"The Conservatives have neither ideas nor policies for older people's services."
Lib Dem Clr Sylvia Smithson, Cabinet member for social services, said: "We recently revised our plans and increased the amount for investment in social services by £4m.
"This will enable us to improve the implementation of the latest phase of the older people's policy, and also increase the provision for specialist residential care.
"I know from my own observations that the need for specialist residential care - for example to care for people with Alzheimer's disease - is increasingly required.
" This additional capital which we have allocated will allow development to take place so that these much needed places can be provided," she added.
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