THE VIEWS of more than 3,700 people will be represented when Burton MP Andrew Griffiths delivers the Mail’s petition against the closure of Elizabeth Court.
By yesterday’s deadline, 3,725 people had signed the petition against the closure of the Winshill complex by owner Anchor Trust.
The campaign received a last-minute boost when resident Bill Donger arrived at the Mail office hours before the noon deadline with 77 completed petition forms containing more than 1,000 signatures collected from individuals, shops and organisations.
The completed petitions will be handed over by Mr Griffiths to Anchor chief executive Jane Ashcroft when he meets her at Westminster on Tuesday.
Mr Griffiths said: “I think considering there are only around 50 residents at Elizabeth Court this is a fantastic response which shows the strong feeling and support there is for these vulnerable residents.
“Clearly Burtonians recognise the importance of the facilities offered at Elizabeth Court and they have shown in no uncertain terms they think the residents deserve better treatment than they’ve been getting.
“I congratulate the Burton Mail for its campaign and for allowing people to register their opposition to the closure.” Support for the petition came from across Burton and South Derbyshire – and a wider area, with signatories from as far afield as London, Birmingham, Cheshire, Hampshire and West Yorkshire.
Elizabeth Court resident Dave Hinsley said tenants, who face eviction after being told in August that the home was to close, had been ‘overwhelmed’ by the backing they had received.
He said: “The support we’ve had from people in and around Burton, and the number of people who’ve helped, from ordinary people to large organisations, has been out of this world.
“We’ve been absolutely amazed by the response we’ve had and it’s been overwhelming really. It makes us feel that people really care.” Mr Griffiths will meet Mrs Ashcroft with fellow Tory MP Guy Opperman, who is fighting the closure of another Anchor property in his Hexham constituency, in Northumberland.