CAMPAIGNERS say they will not give up on their bid to bring a community care home to Millport - despite North Ayrshire Council rejecting the concept.

The Isle of Cumbrae Elderly Forum - which was set up on the island after the last care home closed in 2006 - had the sole purpose of pushing for a new care establishent on the island.

They want a new community-owned facility to prevent the heartbreak of couples and families having to separate.

A feasibility study was carried out, with North Ayrshire Council, The Big Lottery and Hunterston putting in £15,000 but the campaigners are no further forward following its conclusion.

Stewart Grant, administrator for the Isle of Cumbrae Elderly Forum, said: "We were told officially at a meeting with the council that there wasn't going to be care hub built on the island.

"We feel that a care home on the island is needed. "The Isle of Cumbrae Elderly Forum has 110 members, which is around eight per cent of the island population.

"It is important to remember that 45 per cent of the island population is over the age of 65 too."

Stewart insists that all is not lost however.

He told the News: "Since the meeting, there has been a turn of events in that The Scotland Islands Federation seem to think that there may be a contradiction of the new Islands Act.

"We are in talks with the Island Federation, and we will see what happens.

"A community care hub is so important to Millport.

"Our former chairman Jean Kerr had a list of over 100 people on the island who have had to go into care homes on the mainland, so anyone who tells you any different is not telling the truth."

Various options had been proposed in the feasibility study, including a10 and 20 bed community hub with ‘outreach’ services, and a 30 bed community hub.

Another option was to attract a private sector or trust care home operator.

During the research involved in the feasibility study, two potential trust operators identified themselves as having a possible interest in developing a care home on the island.

NAC comment to come.............................