THE closure of a care home for older people is set to be confirmed today despite a last-ditch campaign to keep it open.

Lancashire County Council's ruling cabinet has been recommended to go ahead with shutting the residence for the elderly in Burnley despite 87 per cent of those who responded to a consultation on the proposal opposing it.

A report to the senior councillors by Chris Bagshaw, head of the older peoples care service, says the Lower Ridge Home in Belvedere Road, built in 1967, is no longer fit for purpose.

It says it is in poor structural condition and too expensive to repair and maintain despite being rated 'Good' by the Care Quality Commission.

It adds that the home, the last local authority one in Burnley, has just 15 out of a possible 35 residents but holds out the prospect of a new specialist 'extra care' development in the town in the future.

Diane Walmsley, one of the founders of the Action group Residents and Families Association of Lower Ridge whose 79-year-old grandmother Dotty lives in the home, urged this afternoon's cabinet meeting to reject the recommendation.

She said: "This is a shame. The residents and their families are very disappointed.

"I would appeal to cabinet members to keep Lower Ridge open."

Burnley Council has also objected to the closure.

Mr Bagshaw's report admits: "Even a carefully planned and sensitive closure process is likely to create anxiety, sadness or concern amongst some of the older people resident at Lower Ridge."

The report promises that the closure will be done in a caring manner with places in nearby county council homes, including Padiham's Woodside 3.7 miles away, held open for Lower Ridge residents.

It says the county is prepared to pay more than its usual subsidy to place residents in the 17 independently-run equivalents, also rated 'Good' by inspectors, in Burnley and to relocate them in 'friendship groups'.

Mr Bagshaw said: "I would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this consultation.

"The responses demonstrate how well thought of Lower Ridge is, especially its staff and manager, which is something reflected in its 'Good' CQC rating.

"However, it is also important that all factors, including the relatively low numbers of older people choosing to go into Lower Ridge, the condition of the building itself and the spare capacity at other local care homes, are considered."

In recent years occupancy at Lower Ridge has typically been between 60 to 70 per cent compared to 94 per cent at the county council's other 17 residential homes for older people.

Residents could be relocated at Woodside or other county council care homes in Clayton-le-Moors, Barnoldswick, Colne, Clitheroe, and Bacup.

The staff will be redeployed to other county council homes.