Politicians will ignore pleas from heartbroken residents by pressing ahead with closing the 15 remaining Birmingham City Council old people’s homes.
A consultation exercise saw almost total opposition to proposals to shut the homes and adjoining day centres in phases over the next six years, with some of those who responded saying they feared the move would be so stressful it could kill frail old folk.
But the council cabinet is to press ahead with the plan, which ruling Tory-Liberal Democrat councillors say is necessary because the homes lack modern facilities and no longer meet government care standards.
The decision will see 124 staff made redundant, on top of 180 job losses at the homes announced last month.
Eight homes have already closed and are being replaced by four special care centres – offering modern accommodation and day facilities for older people.
But plans to build further day centres have been put on ice after plummeting land values left the council unable to fund the project by selling the sites on which the old people’s homes stood.
One resident at the Guestholme home in Selly Oak told the council: “I think the change will kill me. I have made many friends and have been told they may not come with me .”
A resident at the George Canning home in Hodge Hill feared being confronted with “total strangers” when moved to new accommodation and warned: “Lives will be lost.”
At Druid’s Meadow home in Selly Oak, a resident wrote: “I love it here and I don’t want to move elsewhere.”
The council admits it is in a race against time to identify enough homes in the independent and voluntary sectors to provide accommodation for people affected by the closure plan.
No one at the city council was available for comment.