Council accused of Lincolnshire care homes U-turn

A trade union has accused Lincolnshire County Council of a U-turn over plans to close three residential care homes.

Unison said the council had pledged to keep Linelands in Nettleham, Bonner House, in Sleaford, and Harrison House, in Grantham, open.

But now the authority has begun consulting staff on redundancy as it looks to sell the homes to the private sector.

The council denied it ever promised to keep the care homes open.

In January, councillors voted to close five care homes - The Cedars, Gainsborough; Park View, Lincoln; Ingelow Manor, Boston; Halmer Grange, Spalding and Crowtree House, Louth - from September, following a public consultation.

'Ignoring views'

John Sharman, Lincolnshire branch secretary for Unison, said the union had assumed the three other homes under consideration would be staying open and was shocked this was no longer the case.

He said: "The council used to describe its care staff as 'second to none'. Today it looks set to issue 300 redundancy notices.

"It is ignoring the views of the people of Lincolnshire, and leaving them to the vagaries of the market - at the very time when we are seeing how dangerous that is.

"The people who are responsible for today's proposals should hang their heads in shame."

Lincolnshire County Council said nothing had changed since its original announcement in January.

Terry Hawkins, interim assistant director for adult social care, said: "The proposal is for no change to our original schedule for five homes to close in September as alternative services are put in place.

"The remaining three homes won't close until further analysis and work in the market is carried out and suitable alternatives are ready."

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