The county council says it understands how upsetting the sudden closure of a care home which saw 13 vulnerable people moved around Kent is for people.
Loved ones of people at the home were given just 48 hours to find a new place after Kent County Council announced it would be closing the site due to a water problem.
The decision was slammed as “disgusting” and “appalling” by those affected, with some residents being moved more than an hour away.
People took to the street at the weekend with yellow cards which read Save Blackburn Lodge.
Speaking about the sudden closure of the care home, Dan Watkins, cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “I wholly appreciate that the sudden and unplanned closure of Blackburn Lodge care home on the Isle of Sheppey has caused disruption and anxiety for residents, their families, and the local community.
“The welfare, safety and comfort of our residents is always our main priority when providing care services and this decision was not taken lightly.
“During water safety testing, carried out by an independent testing agency, high levels of iron were discovered in the building’s water supply. This is in contravention of Health and Safety regulations and was caused by the degradation of the internal pipe works.
“Unfortunately, this type of significant issue is not something that can be planned for and so, regrettably it was necessary to move all 13 residents to alternative suitable accommodation as soon as possible for their ongoing welfare. Bottled water was provided during this time, and we supported residents and their families throughout, but bottled water is not a suitable solution for more than a very short period of time.
“I recognise and sympathise with how very upsetting this is for Sheppey residents who need care and want to remain on the island, and the added inconvenience for local families who have to travel further to stay in touch with their loved ones placed in residential care in other parts of Kent. We will confirm more details on the future of the home as soon as possible.”
Speaking about the protest, David Sawyer, whose mother-in-law Rita was moved off the Island to Tenterden, said: “There was lots of support from people and the local neighbours.”