PROTESTORS will form a circle of love and protection around a care home to express their anger about possible plans to close it.

Newtown House in Stanhope is one of five care homes Durham County Council is consulting over, with one option being its closure.

On Sunday, December 8, objectors are being urged to meet at the home and hold hands around it.

Michelle Robson, whose father-in-law Donald Robson currently lives at Newtown House, is organising the peaceful protest.

She said: “We want to form a circle of love and protection around Newtown House to show the council how important this beautiful building is to us and the strength of our concerns over their plans.

“Jobs are also at stake and closing Newtown House would be horrendous.

“It is the home for these people, if they are moved elsewhere then they will not be living, just existing.”

Last week, more than 200 Weardale residents attended a public meeting to discuss the council’s proposals, and many said they were disappointed no officials from the authority were there to hear their concerns and answer their questions.

Durham County Council is consulting over three proposals for the care homes, closure, handing over management to private firms or retaining as they are.

Stanhope Parish Council chairman Richard Mews said: “The council’s consultation questionnaire is not fit for purpose, it asks many loaded questions and is massaged to give Durham County Council the answers it wants.”

Jean proud from St John’s Chapel WI said closing the home would be disastrous, while Diana Sutcliffe, a founder of the Barrington Bites Luncheon Club which is provided for by chefs at Newtown house praised the home.

Clement O’Donovan from Frosterley said more than half of Weardale’s 8,000 residents are approaching, or are over, 60-years-old, meaning the demand for Newton House is growing, while another resident said forcing elderly people to move was “dehumanising”.

Protestors are asked to bring friends and banners and meet near Newtown house at 2pm on Sunday, December 8.

Weardale county councillors John Shuttleworth and Anita Savory are also urging people to respond to the council’s consultation.

Durham County Council, who need to cut £100m for their spending are consulting over the options until January 19.

The other homes affected are Cheveley House in Belmont, Feryemount in Ferryhill, Grampian House in Peterlee and Mendip House, Chester-le-Street.