Highlands & Islands

Highland care home broken promise

Care worker and older person - generic
Image caption Directors have said suitable alternative care could be provided

Highland Council has agreed to abandon its promise to build five new care homes for the elderly across the region.

Councillors at Inverness voted 52 to 25 to abandon the scheme after an emotional three hour debate.

Council leaders insisted they could not afford to build the homes because of spending constraints.

Campaigners have accused the current administration of breaking a promise to push ahead with the new homes.

A previous administration had committed to the project.

Council leaders had suggested that suitable alternative care could be provided cheaper than new builds.

The homes were planned for Fort William, Grantown-on-Spey, Inverness, Muir of Ord and Tain.

The authority has said that none of the present facilities will close and all residents in the five homes will now remain were they are.

Earlier, more than 100 campaigners marched on Highland Council's headquarters in Inverness to protest against the local authority breaking its pledge to build the new homes.

Economic impact

Chairwoman of the council's social work committee, Councillor Margaret Davidson, said: "The world's changed. In the autumn of 2008 the economics of the world almost collapsed.

"We have to take account of that and how it impacts on this council.

"And when I went around the five care homes with the convener I was absolutely crystal clear - almost all of the families wanted to retain what they have got, they were not too bothered about a new home."

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