Councillors to be put on spot over care homes

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CAMPAIGNERS are to challenge top Fife politicians on the threatened closure of North Eden House in Cupar ahead of a crunch meeting about the future of the Kingdom’s council-run care homes.

Councillors on the local authority’s social work and health committee are due to meet on February 1 to consider the findings from the largest consultation of its kind ever carried out in the Kingdom.

Officials are currently in the process of collating more than 660 responses received to the ‘Future of Residential Services — Have Your Say’ exercise, which sought views on what should happen to the council’s care homes in the light of budgetary constraints.

It has already been agreed that two new care homes will be built in Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline to replace the existing three, but the council says there is not enough money to refurbish the other seven.

Options on the table include handing the homes over to the private sector or transferring residents to privately-run facilities elsewhere, prompting fears that North Eden House could close.

Hundreds of people in and around Cupar have signed a petition calling for the retention of North Eden House and the home’s future is the subject of a public meeting due to take place in Age Concern on Thursday, January 27.

OPPORTUNITY

Independent Cupar councillor Bryan Poole will chair the meeting and people will have the opportunity to put senior politicians on the spot, including council leader Peter Grant; social work and health committee chair Tim Brett and Mr Poole’s fellow Independent Andrew Rodger, a well-known health campaigner.

“To my knowledge this is the only public meeting on this issue to be held in Fife,” said Councillor Poole.

“This is a great opportunity for people in Cupar and the surrounding villages to put the politicians on the spot with regard to North Eden House.”

Meanwhile Rona Laing, Fife’s head of older peoples services, thanked all those who had participated in the consultation.

She said: “Consultation of this level and complexity has never taken place in Fife before and we have welcomed feedback in all its forms.

“No matter what shape older people’s services take in the months and years ahead, the one constant is that Fife Council remains committed to ensuring that those who are most vulnerable receive the highest quality care and support — this will be about having the right people in the right place at the right time.”