Eight pensioners, who claim the closure of
their care home may bring on their deaths prematurely, failed last
week in a high court bid to keep it open.
Judge Mr Justice Scott Baker said Plymouth
Council had acted neither unfairly nor unlawfully in closing the
city’s Granby Way home and he rejected residents’ claims that they
had been offered “a home for life”.
He also dismissed claims that the closure
decision amounted to a breach of the pensioners’ right to respect
for their home and family life under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Lawyers for the five men and three women aged
between 77 and 92 told the court that 10 residents had died at
another Plymouth home, Tory Brook, which closed as part of the same
cost cutting exercise aimed at reducing the social services budget
by almost £1 million.
But Scott Baker said local authorities often
had to make agonising decisions to balance books. The closure
decision could not be “stigmatised as irrational”, and the council
had been entitled to make it.
The residents were refused leave to appeal,
but are now planning to seek permission for an appeal hearing
directly from the Court of Appeal.
Mr Roger McCarthy QC for the council said
there were no immediate plans to move any of the Granby Way
residents and nothing would be done until individual assessments of
their care needs had been carried out.