WATCH: Public protest at Seton Hall closure plans

Around 100 people have held a public demonstration against the proposed closure of Seton Hall care home in Berwick.

Seton Care, the Berwickshire Housing Association subsidiary company who run the Tweedmouth-based home, say the 47-bed facility is no longer sustainable.

However, there has been strong opposition to the proposal and on Saturday relatives and carers marched down the high street to the town hall where speeches were made.

Mayor Hazel Bettison said: “Where are these people supposed to go? A lot of these are Berwick people. Why should they have to leave their homes and go elsewhere? There is not enough bedspace in Berwick for these people to go.

“We need to stand united and fight to keep this home open. I, as Mayor, and the town council, are behind you 100 per cent.”

Homecare worker Ruth Wilson said: “On May 12 staff at Seton Care were called to a meeting to be told of BHA’s (Berwickshire Housing Association) decision to close services at the home and homecare.

“BHA did give some reasons for the closure, from the building being run down to lack of support from the council, the heating system needing replaced, not having all the beds taken and it running at a loss.

“Surely Seton Hall is a vital part of the community and is worth investing in and saving. As a community we are entitled to choices of care. BHA are trying to take away those choices. All of the residents and service users have stated they want to keep the service as it is, both in their home and community.

“Many of those within the home and homecare service have been with us for a long time and we have built great relationships with them and their families. Seton Care is a family. All the staff, residents and service users feel part of an extended family, a fantastic group of people who care about each other and those they look after.

“The staff are unhappy at how quick things are progressing. They feel they are on a runaway train without brakes. We feel we are being rushed into making decisions when it is still unclear as to the outcome of the consulation period. It’s scary and it’s upsetting for all involved.

“What is clear though is that BHA have terminated community care and are handing packages back to the council’s provider. But, just because the fight is over for homecare services, the fight is not over for Seton Hall.”

A public meeting is being held in the William Elder Building on Castlegate on Friday, June 12 at 7pm at which representives of BHA and Northumberland County Council are expected to attend.