MP in fight to save break-up of Hovenden House community at Fleet

MP John Hayes wants urgent talks over the threatened closure of Hovenden House at Fleet. SG280417-207TW
MP John Hayes wants urgent talks over the threatened closure of Hovenden House at Fleet. SG280417-207TW

MP John Hayes wants urgent talks with Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) to stop the break-up of a home community with the threatened closure of Hovenden House.

The South Holland and the Deepings MP says if LCD insists the Fleet home for disabled people has to close, the charity must buy an appropriate property so residents and staff can move there together instead of being split up and going their separate ways.

LCD announced the home’s closure two weeks ago, saying the building is no longer financially viable and it “needs major repairs and does not meet the standards of today”.

The charity’s statement continued: “We will now work with all of our residents and their families in association with the funding authority to help them choose their new home and support them throughout this process.”

The charity aims to shut Hovenden House in August.

As well as being alarmed by the threatened break-up of the home’s community, with more than 20 residents and 42 staff, the MP says too little notice was given by LCD.

Mr Hayes said: “There’s one lady who has been there for most of her adult life. Moving from a place where you have lived for many years is traumatic for anybody, but when you are in a residential care environment, it is all the more so.

“Whatever change takes place has got to meet the needs of the residents and staff. If they must really leave Hovenden House, I would expect them (LCD) to purchase an appropriate property – which I would suggest should be a very large and elegant property, and there are plenty of those available, if you look hard enough, not too far from Hovenden House.”

He says residents need good quality facilities, a garden to enjoy sitting in or looking at from the house and somewhere to keep their minibus.

• Hovenden House faced closure in 2007, but plans to move residents to Spalding fizzled out.