A CALL to change the way Colchester’s sheltered housing complexes are operated has been rejected.

At a full council meeting, campaigner Andy Abbott handed in a petition signed by 2,369 people opposing the closure of Joyce Brooks House and Abbeygate House.

The last remaining residents of the former have agreed to move out following a year-long campaign, while the latter has been sold to become a home for retired Gurkha military veterans.

The petition also claims five more complexes are under threat and that a “privatisation by stealth” was planned.

Tina Bourne, councillor responsible for housing, responded by proposing a motion which insisted the proceeds from the sale of the two homes formed part of a £3.8 million upgrade of the borough’s other sheltered housing complexes.

The motion, agreeing to continue the authority’s sheltered housing plans, was not debated and was unanimously passed.

For the full story, see Monday's Gazette