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Council Offers Assurance On Care Homes

23rd March 2010

The Leader of The Highland Council's Administration has given a categorical assurance that the only work currently being carried out on the future of Council care homes is a review of the business case for building care homes at Burnside/Ach an Eas, Inverness, Muir of Ord, Fort William, Tain and Grantown. This work is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month and the aim is that a report is taken to the full council on 13 May.

Councillor Foxley said that before the Council had taken a decision on 17 December last year to proceed with the business case review, the Council's Leadership had been given a number of options for future action. One included undertaking an option appraisal on the transfer of all Council care homes and their operation to the private sector or to a trust. This option had been dismissed and had not been presented to the Council for consideration.

He said: "The clear view of the Leadership was to recommend to the council that we conduct a business review of each of the five proposed projects. This recommendation was accepted. We will examine each of the projects and assess the costs and benefits of the investments so we have the information we require to decide how best to spend the funding available to us. We should have this information by the end of the month and we will take a report to the full council for consideration."

Councillor Margaret Davidson, Chairman of the Housing and Social Work Committee, echoed the Leader's comments. She said: "We are entirely focused on preparing a business case for each of the five homes."

She said the Council ran a total of 10 residential and 9 community care homes. In recent times, it had invested more than 4 million on the refurbishment of Bayview House, Thurso; Seaforth House, Golspie; Dail Mhor, Strontian; Melvich Community Care Unit; Strathburn House, Gairloch; the MacKintosh Centre, Mallaig and Pulteney House, Wick and the Telford Centre, Fort Augustus.

The Council also purchases places from the independent sector in providing accommodation for older people.