PETITIONS against services at a Westhoughton care home being scaled back have been criticised as misleading by the councillor in charge of the changes.

About 2,500 people have signed written and online petitions calling for Winifred Kettle Community Care Centre to retain its threatened intermediate and respite care services.

A Bolton Council revamp of care provision proposes to shut Firwood House in Crompton Way and make Winifred Kettle a day-care only centre.

The written petition which boasts more than 1,000 signatures was handed to mayor Cllr Colin Shaw at a Bolton Council meeting on Wednesday.

Cllr Christopher Peacock, cabinet member for adults and social care, thanked Cllr Lynda Winrow-Baker, a Westhoughton town councillor, and campaigner Gwendoline Parr for speaking to so many people.

But he said their presentation of the proposed changes failed to “fully explain the situation”.

Cllr Peacock said: “I worry that the petition was a bit misleading to those who signed it.

“Winifred Kettle is not closing and people will still have access to respite and intermediate care.

“This has been frames as services leaving the town, when only 10 per cent of the people in Winifred Kettle’s beds last year were from Westhoughton in any case.

“Significantly more people will be able to access this care with what is replacing it.”

The campaigners argue that the changes will see Westhoughton lose a much-loved service and cited it as the latest example of Bolton taking something away from Westhoughton without replacing it.

Bolton Council insists that the changes are not cost-cutting measures, but an attempt to make their provision across Bolton more efficient.

Cllr Peacock added: “We will look at the petition and the points it raises when we reflect on the consultation.

“As a ward councillor, one of the most common complaints I hear is that services are being taken out of Westhoughton.

“By doing this we are bringing services back into Westhoughton, as care will be more accessible.

“Winifred Kettle will continue to be a centre of health and well-being for the people of Westhoughton.”