A ‘HEARTBROKEN’ Chard councillor has started an online petition after the news of the proposed closure of two residential care homes.

Cllr Connor Payne said Somerset Care “must rethink” their proposal to close Sunnymeade in Chard and Critchill Court in Frome “as a matter of urgency”.

Yesterday (Wednesday, February 28), Somerset Care launched a consultation and informed colleagues, residents, and their families of the proposals.

Cllr Payne (Chard South division) said: “I am truly heartbroken by the news of the proposed closure of Sunnymeade.

“The impacts this has on the residents, their families, and the staff is wide-reaching.

“We must act as a community to demonstrate the importance of this care home.

“Relocating care home residents presents a health risk, it is an incredibly stressful process for the families, and staff are worried about their futures.

“Somerset Care must rethink their proposal as a matter of urgency.

“My heart goes out to all those impacted by this proposal, and I hope that a long-term solution can be found immediately to relieve pressures on those impacted.

I have set up this petition to give residents of Chard and Frome the opportunity to voice their objections, but you can also participate in the consultation being run by Somerset Care.

“This is not an issue just facing our community, but our county.

"Together, we can use our voice to express our frustration with Chard losing yet another vital provision.”

The two care homes, due to their “dated and restrictive layouts, high running costs, and repair requirements”, are no longer financially viable, Somerset Care said.

Jobs at the two care homes are at risk of redundancies, but “the purpose of the consultation, launched today, is to ascertain whether there are ways of avoiding redundancies,” Somerset Care also said.