Bonnyton House deal creates funding gap

Bonnyton House deal is up in the air with local elections looming in May.
Bonnyton House deal is up in the air with local elections looming in May.

The failed sale of Bonnyton House has forced East Ren Council into allocating £425,000 in the budget to prop up the Health & Social Care Partnership.

The Extra exclusively revealed six weeks ago that the prospective purchasers ran a home which had been threatened with closure by the Care Commission and another where the chef was jailed for sexually abusing residents.

When the council budget papers revealed an unspecified figure had been set aside for Bonnyton House, we asked then how much it was and what it was for.

A council spokesperson told us: “A one-off payment of £425,000 is being made to the East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership Integrated Joint Board to in part compensate for the savings planned from the transfer of Bonnyton House to the private sector.

This will allow the IJB more time to find a new purchaser. If this money had not been made available to the IJB, it would have had to find savings to compensate for those expected from the sale of Bonnyton, which would have resulted in reduced services to our most vulnerable residents and up to 20 job losses.”

Conservative Group Leader and an opposition councillor, Stewart Miller took the council to task. He told us: “One part of the administrations budget amendment is particularly nasty. They are using £426,000 to keep Bonnyton House open for another year yet councillor Swift gave them accurate figures on how to make Bonnyton pay for itself and actually make money.

Councillor Lafferty was then heard to openly say that they would continue to try to sell Bonnyton and if they couldn’t get a sale, they would then close the community facility. And this is in the face of three new care homes being built in the area.

Incredibly, the council leader, Cllr Jim Fletcher agreed with Cllr Lafferty and said that because it’s only a 28-bed care home, it is too small. What utter rubbish.”