Council services exist to provide an amenity, not to make a profit

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IN response to the Letter in the Dispatch from Coun Kevin Rostance (Con), of Hucknall (‘Care Home Was Making Loss — Thanks To Labour Policies’).

Perhaps Coun Rostance is forgetting one of the main roles of being an elected member, which is to provide and enhance services to the electorate they represent.

How selling off a care home, and losing money in the transaction, is in the interests of Hucknall, I fail to see.

Kevin, you also failed in your Letter to inform Dispatch readers of the track record of Runwood Homes (the purchaser of the six care homes in Nottinghamshire that have been sold off).

On researching this company through public documents, I find that they dissolved companies, namely Runwood Homecare Ltd, Traditional Care Homes Ltd, Runwood Healthcare Ltd, Kathryn Homecare Ltd, Ashwood Developments Ltd, Runwood Group Ltd, to name only a few, and as recently as May 2011. I can come to a personal conclusion that whatever was said by this company on a morning radio show gives me little reassurance.

Unless I’m mistaken, services from Notts County Council are not there to make a profit. They are solely to provide an amenity to the residents of Nottinghamshire.

What I also fail to understand is how the selling of six care homes for £2.1 million and losing an £18 million capital receipt are in the interests of Nottinghamshire people. They should have been either leased or rented. That way, the asset of the county remains with the authority. Had the Conservatives at County Hall leased the six care homes, even for ten years at a peppercorn rent, should anything go wrong and the care of the elderly be put at risk, there would be an opportunity to bring them back in house.

I know that external auditors are investigating the procedures which led to this appalling decision being made. One can only hope that they overturn it and see it for what it is.

If Coun Rostance thinks he can try and undermine my opinions in the interests of ‘politics’ and the county council elections in under two years’ time, he can think again. Eventually the residents of Hucknall will acknowledge the damage our Conservative county councillors have done to this town — and I’m quite sure they won’t forget it.

COUN CHRIS BARON (LAB),

Hucknall West,

Ashfield District Council.