DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg is backing a campaign to save three Sheffield dementia care centres threatened with closure.
Norbury resource centre in Norwood, Bolehill View resource centre in Crookes and Hurlfield View in Gleadless Common, provide specialist care for elderly people with dementia.
Ruling Labour councillors insist no decision has yet been made about the future of the centres, and say the decision will rest upon the outcome of a consultation due to start this summer.
But their approved budget set out the savings of £385,000 they will make if the centres are axed.
Mr Clegg joined staff, carers, pensioners’ groups and residents in objecting to the plans, which are also opposed by Sheffield Trades Union Council, which unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the proposed closure.
Mr Clegg said: “Caring for the most vulnerable in our society is extremely important to me and local Liberal Democrats.
“That is why we are so concerned with the Labour council’s plan to close all three of Sheffield’s dementia care centres.
“The council claim they have to make the closures because it will save more than £300,000. Labour councillors in Sheffield have got their priorities wrong, they should think again.”
Crookes Lib Dem campaigner Rob Frost, said: “Services for our elderly should be put before spending millions on redecorating the Town Hall.”
Meanwhile Bill Ronksley, secretary of Sheffield Trades Union Council, has written to council leader Coun Julie Dore and Labour district secretary Paul Wood.
His letter laid out the union resolution which said: “This Trades Union Council is appalled at the decision by Sheffield Council to close three dementia homes.
“These homes are an essential facility to assist and support victims of this most distressing and debilitating disease. The absence of these essential homes will drive many families to despair.”
The plans will go before cabinet after the elections on Thursday, before a public consultation is carried out.
Meanwhile, plans to close Sevenfields resource centre in Wisewood and Hazelhurst in Jordanthorpe will be discussed by a scrutiny board on Monday.