Community Bands Together to Preserve Ridgway House Care Home Amid Closure Threat

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A fresh petition has emerged in the effort to safeguard Ridgway House, a longstanding care facility that has been a vital support system for the community for four decades. The future of Ridgway House hangs in the balance as West Northants Council prepares to make a decision on its fate next week.

The proposed closure, part of a suggested safe closure initiative, has sparked widespread concern among residents, their families, and a local Member of Parliament, who initiated the petition. The council contends that Ridgway House’s existing facilities are insufficient to meet the growing demand for residential care, prompting the recommendation for closure.

However, the unnamed Member of Parliament strongly opposes the closure, asserting that it should only proceed if an alternative care facility is readily available in Towcester. In the petition, the emphasis is on securing a replacement facility before Ridgway House is closed to prevent potential distress among the 17 residents who currently reside there.

The council-managed care home, which currently accommodates 17 residents out of its 25 available rooms, is already operating below capacity. According to West Northants Council, there are 107 registered care homes in the region, but only five are under council management, offering a total of 235 bed spaces.

The unnamed Member of Parliament, having recently visited Ridgway House, expressed concern about the possible relocation of residents. It was highlighted that many of them have strong local ties and deep connections to Towcester, making the prospect of moving elsewhere a source of considerable distress.

The public consultation, conducted in October of the previous year, is the foundation of the council’s decision-making process. However, the results have not been publicly disclosed. Council documents state that “a significant number of respondents disagreed” with the safe closure initiative, indicating a clear divergence of opinions within the community.

While there appears to be a general consensus that improvements are needed, the council argues that the necessary upgrades are unattainable without closing the home. The council underscored the consequences of maintaining the status quo, including a further decline in residents, staffing challenges, and the deterioration of the building, leading to more practical challenges.

In 2020, a survey estimated that Ridgway House would require £1 million in funding over the next decade to maintain basic standards. The closure, according to West Northants Council, would result in savings of £1.377 million.

The impending Cabinet vote on Tuesday, January 9, will determine Ridgway House’s fate. If the closure is approved, the process will commence with immediate effect, necessitating the relocation of the 17 residents to alternative facilities.

In response to the council’s stance, the petition calls for a comprehensive reassessment of the decision. The petition, addressed to the Cabinet of West Northamptonshire Council, urges a postponement of the closure until the community has had a more extensive opportunity to express their views.

The petition also underscores the dedicated staff at Ridgway House, who deeply care for the residents. Forced relocation, as mentioned in the petition, could lead to isolation and emotional hardship for the residents and their families. Furthermore, the petition highlights the existing shortage of adult care homes in South Northamptonshire, arguing that closing Ridgway House would exacerbate this issue.

Addressing the financial aspect, the petition notes that the estimated £1 million investment required for the next decade could be viewed as a prudent alternative to building a new care home. Moreover, the limited sample size of 180 responses in the council’s consultation is questioned, with the petition urging the council to reopen the consultation for a more representative and transparent decision-making process.

As the community awaits the council’s decision, the fate of Ridgway House remains uncertain. The petition, gaining momentum, reflects the collective voice of those determined to preserve the care home that has been a cornerstone of the Towcester community for 40 years.

Elliot Preece
Elliot Preece
Founder | Editor Elliot is an experienced journalist manager with a passion for writing. He played a pivotal role in building the News Write Ups website as a web developer and has since been leading the team of journalists to produce high-quality content. With his strong background in writing and web development, Elliot ensures that the website not only functions smoothly but also provides engaging and informative articles for readers.

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