Care home for elderly at centre of ‘giveaway’ storm

JUBILEE COURT
JUBILEE COURT

A FLAGSHIP care-home in Hucknall that cost £2.5 million to build is to be sold off — along with five others — in a deal that will raise just £1.9 million.

Notts County Council, which owns Jubilee Court on the campus of Holgate Comprehensive School off Nabbs Lane, has decided to sell the sites to private company, Runwood Homes.

It would mean each of the homes achieving an average value of just £330,000 and could go through by January as part of a bid by the council to cut its budgets in the wake of nationwide spending cuts.

But the proposal has sparked a wave of anger and objection.

Coun Chris Baron, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council, was a member of the county council when Jubilee Court was opened in a blaze of glory in 2003. He said: “This is incredible.

“Some five-bedroomed houses in Hucknall cost much more than £330,000. We are talking about a 60-bed care home.

“How can this be value for taxpayers’ money? We had to fight like anything to get Jubilee Court. Now it is, in effect, being given away.”

The public services union, UNISON, has also slammed the proposal as a “bad deal” for residents and staff.

Overall, the proposed sale would be for £2.5 million. But the county council must pay £600,000 to the Primary Care Trust (PCT).

The council says the price is the best it could achieve because it has insisted the venues remain as care homes.

It also says that the deal would save £900,000 a year in running costs, which would be ploughed back into frontline care for the elderly.

Coun Kevin Rostance (Con), of Hucknall, who is lead member for adult social care at County Hall, said: “We would like to reassure residents and their families that if the proposals are agreed, they will see no reduction in the quality of care they currently receive.”

Runwood proposes to spend £500,000 at Jubilee Court in the next five years, creating more bedrooms and potentially more jobs. Existing staff would be given the opportunity to transfer to the new company.

Coun Rostance added: “The proposals represent the best possible outcome for the council, its staff and older people.”