Nearly 40 protestors packed today’s budget meeting of Doncaster Council’s cabinet to voice their opposition to £109 million of cuts which are just round the corner.
The group of union members and people directly affected by proposed closures had brought with them a 3,000 signature petition which they wanted to present to Mayor Ros Jones.
Unison member Lorna Williamson said the petiton ‘showed the strength of feeling of Doncaster residents’ and she asked Mrs Jones to take it to London to hand to the Government.
But the mayor said the petition should be taken by the unions ‘but I will be happy to supply a letter of support saying they are unfair cuts’.
The proposed cuts, still out for consultation, would include the closure of all elderly care homes run by the council, some children’s centres, and more libraries.
The care homes issue is causing particular distress with the relatives of several residents attending to raise it during question time at the meeting.
Margaret Kitchen, whose 89-year-old father is in the under-threat Plantation View, Cantley, which looks after mentally infirm OAPs, claimed three residents had died within a few days of being moved to other facilities.
She was applauded by the protestors when she said: “I just dread to think what will happen to my dad.”
The Mayor said 90 per cent of Doncaster’s elderly residents needing care homes are already looked after in the independent sector and ‘consultation will be done properly and brought back to Cabinet’.