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MP to hold showdown talks with Anchor boss


Tuesday 14th September 2010 (Andrew Griffiths)

Burton mp Andrew Griffiths is to hold showdown talks with the boss of the housing firm which plans to close a Burton retirement complex.

Mr Griffiths will be delivering the Mail’s petition against the closure of Elizabeth Court, in Winshill, to Anchor Trust chief executive Jane Ashcroft on Tuesday, October 12.

Meanwhile, the MP accused Anchor of ‘putting profit before people’ and vowed to continue to fight against the closure, which will see 54 tenants forced to leave their homes.

Mr Griffiths said: “I’ve got major reservations about the decision Anchor is taking and whether it’s being taken in the best interests of the vulnerable residents that they have a duty of care for.

“While Anchor has a right to be successful and to make decisions in relation to profitability its overriding concern must be the welfare of the residents over profit margins.

“I hope we can get Anchor to reconsider the options available to it and whether there are other providers in the market who might be interested in taking on Elizabeth Court.

“Of course residents and their families will be looking at all the options available to them and should continue to explore other accommodation, but what’s clear is that the fight to keep Elizabeth Court is not yet over.” Mr Griffiths will meet Ms Ashcroft at Westminster with his fellow MP Guy Opperman, after learning through the Mail of Mr Opperman’s fight to save Blackett Court, the Anchor home threatened with closure in his constituency in Hexham, Northumberland.

Mr Griffiths said: “What’s interesting is that Anchor is making similar decisions across the country and it’s something that seems to be driven by profit rather than care.

“Guy is equally as concerned as I am.

“It’s a carbon copy situation with worried residents, a lack of consultation and very few options available to the elderly people in that area.” ■ MORE than 1,000 people have now signed the Mail’s petition against the closure of Elizabeth Court.

The newspaper has so far received 52 completed petition forms with 795 names, with dozens more petitions still circulating.

A further 335 people have signed the online version of the petition.

The petition can be signed online at www.burtonmail.co.uk while petition forms can be obtained from the Mail office, in High Street, or by telephoning 01283 524864.

Comments about the closure, which will be forwarded to Anchor, can be emailed to tim.fletcher@burtonmail.co.uk or posted to Save Our Homes campaign, Burton Mail, 65-68, High Street, Burtonon- Trent, Staffordshire, DE14 1LE.

The deadline for petition forms and comments to be returned to the Mail is midday on Friday, October 8.

■ TWO groups calling for Elizabeth Court to be saved have been set up on internet social networking site Facebook.

The groups can be found by searching for ‘Save Elizabeth Court’ and ‘Save Elizabeth Court sheltered housing complex, Winshill’ at www.facebook.com.

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