COUNCILLORS in Haltwhistle have appealed for a care home to be built in the town.

At a town council meeting on Monday, councillors expressed their concern at the lack of care and respite facilities in the town despite its ageing population.

Chairman of Haltwhistle Town Council coun. Alan Sharp said: “I’ve had a lot of people asking me about this and I totally agree that we should have a care home.”

Haltwhistle’s former Greenholme care home closed in 2009 after Northumberland County Council closed all of its care homes in the county, with 12 sheltered accommodation flats built as a replacement in the town.

There are currently seven care homes in Hexham, one in Haydon Bridge and one in Allendale.

In a letter to the council, local resident Edward Reynolds said: “Many residents of Haltwhistle have been moved to care homes all around Northumberland. I have spoken to their families and it’s heartbreaking to witness their distress at not being able to visit their loved one’s.”

Councillor Margaret Forrest added: “We don’t realise how restricted the care of older people in this town is. It’s absolutely appalling.

“Why should our rural folk be shipped to Haydon Bridge and Hexham. I think it’s time the county council get off their backsides and stopped supporting businesses and gave us a care home.”

However, Northumberland county councillor for Haltwhistle, Ian Hutchinson, said the county council no longer owned any care homes.

“They will never build a care home for Haltwhistle or any town for that matter,” he said.

“Care homes cost a lot of money. Do you think a lot of people in Haltwhistle would be happy if their council tax went up to be able to subsidise a care home?”