COUNS Chris Baron and Jim Grundy (both Lab), of Hucknall, almost monopolised the Dispatch’s ‘Your Opinions’ page last week with their responses to my comments on residential care homes.
However, for all their criticism and rhetoric, not a single word in either of their Letters stated how Labour would deliver quality care to a growing elderly population at a time when resources are diminishing.
Coun Baron, I am fully aware that one of the main roles of being an elected member is to “provide and enhance services”. That’s why we should not refuse the opportunity to secure an extra £500,000 investment in Jubilee Court, Hucknall and ensure continuity for its residents and staff, especially in the current economic climate.
It’s strange that both councillors attack me for being concerned that the council-run care homes were “losing money”. Isn’t another main role of a councillor to ensure that people in Hucknall and across Nottinghamshire get best value for their money? Or do Chris and Jim think the taxpayer should just keep writing blank cheques, as they did under Labour in the days of 9% and 12% council tax increases?
When a private company can invest extra money and run a home as well as the council, and when this allows the council to spend an extra £900,000 a year on other critical care services, making taxpayers’ money go further, why should this be ruled out (unless you’re a slave to socialist ideology)?
Given the content of their Letters, it’s easy to see why Notts County Council became the highest taxing shire authority in the country under Labour. Since taking control in 2009, the Conservatives have frozen council tax. But it will take several years to reverse completely Labour’s 28-year legacy and give Nottinghamshire taxpayers and service users the value they deserve.
Coun Baron’s Letter implicitly seeks to undermine the track record of Runwood Homes. His Labour colleagues at County Hall also imply frequently that private-care providers cannot be trusted. If that’s the case, then why did the last Labour administration at County Hall place the vast majority of its council-funded residents in private-sector care homes?
Let’s hear no excuses. What Labour are doing is practising scaremongering and hypocrisy from the safety of opposition. They had more than a decade to tackle the growing resource crisis in elderly care but because it was politically difficult to do the right thing, they instead did nothing.
This Conservative administration has grasped the nettle and achieved a solution that will keep care homes open and protect residents and taxpayers.
I understand the concern of Hucknall folk arising from the misinformation spread by our political opponents. But remember, those who criticise the Conservatives have offered no costed alternatives of their own. The truth lies in what they don’t tell you.
COUN KEVIN ROSTANCE (Con),
Cabinet member for adult
social care and health,
Notts County Council.