Residents from Burman House packed a special meeting to discuss controversial plans to close the Terrington St John care home.

Around 30 people attended the session at the Baptist church on Wednesday night, many brought over from the home in their wheelchairs.

Karen Knight, managing director of Norse Care, which runs the home on behalf of Norfolk County Council, was present to discuss proposals.

West Norfolk borough councillor Barry Ayres described it as “a lively meeting” and added: “There was no aggression but a couple of the elderly ladies got quite vocal, although you’d expect that.

“People are against the closure, there’s no doubt about that. It’s not a facility that should be done away with. It’s all about cuts and nothing more.”

Norse Care launched a public consultation last week on plans to close the facility, which houses 30 bedrooms.

Mr Ayres said the residents were worried about being split up and wanted to stay together if they had to be moved elsewhere.

He described the facility as “critical” for the area, due to the high number of elderly people in the community. He said the key issues he wants addressed are why the closure is considered necessary financially when the home is running at 90 per cent occupancy, and why close it when recent investments have been made on equipment and furniture.

He also warned any closure could be subject to legal issues because Mr Burman left the land for the home to be built on in his will, stipulating it was for the benefit of the community.

County councillor Brian Long said the consultation was ‘premature’ and if the home was not deemed cost effective, other avenues need to be explored first, including energy efficiency, staffing and other costs.

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said: “I would like to know what provision there is in the local area to accommodate residents in a property of at least equal standard. 

“One of the reasons cited for the closure is the size of the rooms, however, this was not mentioned in the recent Care Quality Commission report and, in fact, the home received a good rating.”

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