Tyne & Wear

March held after Durham County Council axes five care homes

Campaigners trying to stop the closure of five council elderly care homes in Durham held a protest outside the council offices.

The county council is shutting Belmont, Peterlee, Chester-le-Street, Stanhope and Ferryhill homes, saying they are "not value for money".

The homes employ 170 people and have 40 residents. The Labour-run council said it needed to save £222m by 2017.

But campaigners said the closures would put a strain on residents.

The protest involving the Durham People's Assembly and Newtown House campaigners was the second in less than a week.

Almost 50% of people who responded to a three-month public consultation wanted the council to keep the homes open and find more than £4m to upgrade them.

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