Disappointing news for Bonnyton campaigners

editorial image

Campaigners fighting to save Bonnyton House from privatisation are calling for answers following disappointing news on their alternative savings proposals.

As reported in The Extra, East Renfrewshire Council plans to sell its last remaining care home in a bid to meet a £20 million budget shortfall over the next three years.

Residents, their families and staff are concerned that the standard of care will fall with privatisation, and had submitted their own alternative savings in the hope of keeping Bonnyton in public hands.

But following an independent review of their suggestions, ERC has reported back to campaigner Allan Smillie that “the alternative options put forward will not deliver the level of savings required by the council. The review concludes that the sale of Bonnyton House is the only viable option.”

Mr Smillie, whose 97-year-old mother lives at Bonnyton, told The Extra: “The council won’t let us see the brief they sent for review. My argument is that unless you understand what the brief is, you can’t understand the results.

“I’ve asked how much of a dent our savings proposal made — how close we were to what is needed.

“But ERC say it has to go to council members first and the council is in recess at the moment, and a new council and NHS joint board are apparently making it top of the agenda when they meet in October.

“This is a plan for 2017, but the council already seems to be working on the basis that it’s going to happen.”

An ERC spokeswoman confirmed that the review is complete, and that the outcome “will now be taken to the Health and Social Care Partnership Board for full consideration and a final decision will be taken then - this is likely to be in October”.

She added: “Staff have been informed and meetings will be held with residents and families in the next few weeks.

“We appreciate that this is a disappointing outcome for those who put forward alternative proposals and will take whatever steps are required to keep everyone informed of progress in the weeks to come.”