Southampton City Council has withdrawn plans to sell two council run care homes in the city after a 650-name petition was raised. The Council had planned to sell the 50-bed Northlands House and the 50-bed Whitehaven Lodge as part of a bid to cut back a Â£3 million budget deficit, but now the Council says it will find the cash to keep the homes open through other efficiency savings. Relatives of residents in the homes have expressed their delight with the decision. “I cannot tell you how wonderful it is,” said Patricia Spriggs, whose 81-year-old husband lives at Northlands. “We have all been very worried about it. My husband is very happy there and all the staff are super. Southampton’s executive director of social services John Beere said the Council would concentrate on making the maximum use of government grants, lowering overheads and maximising income, rather than closing down bricks and mortar facilities.