THE fight to save Swanage’s James Day Care Home will continue until the building is bulldozed into the ground, campaigners have pledged.

All 22 elderly residents – who were living at the home in January when the bombshell closure news was first dropped – may have been moved out, but Save James Day Action Group members still believe there is a chance of salvation.

They are demanding one final meeting with Dorset County Council in a bid to convince social care bosses to keep the home running.

On Tuesday campaigners were gathering support on the streets of Swanage, urging residents to sign a petition.

Group member Dave Norman said: “We’ve not given up. We need the public’s continued support in this fight, or we will all lose.”

In a further development it has transpired another Swanage dementia care home provider made an approach to the county with a view to taking over James Day just days after the closure was announced.

This home never received an answer from the county council.

South Dorset MP Jim Knight said: “I asked the council some time ago for a stay of execution to more fully explore options for keeping the home open to prevent the massive upheaval this closure will cause families and residents.

“If another care home has come forward, why hasn’t this option been explored?”

Mr Knight says there is now an acute crisis of dementia care in Swanage and the wider Purbeck area.

Care South, which runs James Day, gave three months notice to close after a 30 per cent rent increase from landlords Dorset County Council. This increase – fixed by an independent body – came as James Day made annual losses of £200,000 and followed a 14 year rent freeze.

Council response

Extracts of a Dorset County Council statement to the Daily Echo read: “We have received a request from the Save James Day Care Home Action Group to raise a number of points about the home’s closure – and the county council’s response to it – with our audit and scrutiny committee.

“The lead members of the committee are currently considering these issues and whether to hold a call to account at a future committee meeting...

“The James Day building no longer fully meets modern standards.

“However, the county council remains committed to providing care services for older people on the site.

“The county council did not receive a formal approach from another town care home interested in taking on James Day until last week.

“Even if we had, the lead-in time to register a new provider with the national Care Quality Commission would have taken several months – well past the end of March deadline we were given by Care South.”