Petition to save Burgess Hill disability centre gains more than 2,000 signatures

A petition to save a Burgess Hill disability centre has gained more than 2,000 signatures.

Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 10:58 am
Updated Thursday, 6th September 2018, 3:32 am
Residents campaigning against the closure. Picture: Steve Robards

Ernest Kleinwort Court in Oakenfield – which provides accommodation and support for people with physical disabilities – is to close in October due to an ‘inadequate’ CQC rating and an ongoing struggle to recruit staff.

The Rev Trevor Beckett, who set up the petition, said: “After exhausting all constructive efforts to persuade the senior managers to stop the closure and meet with all interested parties to find a way forward and a future for EKC, the London law firm Leigh Day have on our behalf now issued a ‘letter before action’ under the Judicial Review Protocol.

“It is on one level sad that we have reached this point, but often in these circumstances it is necessary to show all the actions you have taken before considering legal remedies.

Ernest Kleinwort Court Burgess Hill

“In our case these have included meeting with the CEO, organising of an online and paper petition which now has over 2,000 signatures, many people have written letters to the Trustees, CEO, the patrons of the Trust and a variety of national figures and local politicians and local government officials.

“I know many of you have been disappointing at not receiving replies but we do thank you for all your efforts.

“To date, I know of know one who has had a letter from the chair of the trustees.

“The Disabilities Trust has ten days to respond to the ‘letter before action’ in which they are requested to provide various documentation and to suspend the closure.

“It is not too late to ensure a positive future for EKC, let’s hope the trustees take this opportunity.”

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