CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save a closure-threatened Wirral respite care home say residents' families are in a 'state of limbo' over its future.

Girtrell Court in Saughall Massie faces the axe under cost-cutting measures revealed as part of the Labour administration's budget proposal package.

But those fighting the closure plan claim the council has banned Girtrell Court staff have been banned from taking any more bookings after March and been issued with redundancy notices, stating their jobs are 'to be deleted'.

Wirral’s director of adult social care has denied the claims, adding that no decision will be made until next month’s budget council meeting.

Ward councillor Cllr Chris Blakeley said that at constituency committee meetings in Wallasey and West Wirral, cabinet members and the director of adult social services assured families 'no decision' had been made the home's future.

Cllr Blakeley said: "This week, we have learned that these public assurances are meaningless.

“Families are now in a state of limbo as they cannot make bookings for respite care after March while staff have been told to leave.

“Yet, even at this late stage, the town hall has failed to find acceptable, alternative provision."

Last month, more than 100 people attended a public meeting to air their views on the planned closure.

They also signed a petition urging the council to reject the plan.

Unison Wirral branch secretary Paddy Cleary told the meeting: "This goes beyond party politics; it is about the most vulnerable people in society.

"We need to fight tooth and nail to protect this facility. We've got upwards of 40 people who will be unemployed if the closure goes ahead.

"We're talking about a saving of £155,000.

"We've got to make the council embarrassed about this decision."

The authority believes those using Girtrell Court can be accommodated elsewhere.

But Peter Cowan disagrees.

His 70-year-old sister Barbara sustained severe brain injuries following a car accident in 1963.

She was a resident at Sylvandale Care Home in Bromborough for more than 30 years until its recent closure and has been at Girtrell Court for the last two-and-half years.

Peter believes she would not receive the same standard of care if the centre was to close and residents moved to other care providers.

He told the Globe before the meeting: "The staff at Girtrell Court are so dedicated.

"They have got years and years of experience.

"Residents know the faces of staff and can trust them.

"If the residents are farmed out to other places they will panic.

"Money can't buy experience. If the staff are disbanded, they will never be replaced."

The centre caters for people with complex mental and physical disabilities.

Its threatened closure would save the authority an estimated £155,000.

The authority says the 120 families who use the facility could be catered for in the private sector.

A large protest was held outside Wallasey Town Hall when the issue came before the council's ruling cabinet in December.

Graham Hodkinson, director of adult social care said: “There is no closure date for Girtrell Court.

“Should members decide to progress with the budget proposal regarding this building we will continue to work with every family who needs respite to make sure that their needs can be met in a way which is appropriate and that they are comfortable with.

“No closure plan will be put in place, and no date identified, until that happens.

“Every single person and family who requires respite support in Wirral will continue to get respite support.”