ERC faces backlash over Bonnyton House sale

Protesters have been campaigning to save Bonnyton House from privatisation since ERC's budget savings proposal, released last year
Protesters have been campaigning to save Bonnyton House from privatisation since ERC's budget savings proposal, released last year

The decision to sell off East Renfrewshire Council’s last remaining care home has faced backlash following approval from the new Health and Social Care Partnership.

The plan was given the green light at last week’s HSCP meeting, despite protests from Bonnyton House campaigners.

The council responded that it was a “disappointing outcome”, but pointed to a £20 million budget shortfall faced over the next three years.

Campaigners promised to regroup — and East Renfrewshire Greens showed their support by releasing a statement of solidarity.

It reads: “Save Bonnyton House has raised important questions about the transparency and cost of this process, but the council has failed to reassure campaigners that these concerns have been taken seriously.

“Like many others, we are deeply worried about the impact this will have on the range and quality of care provided.”

Conservative councillor Jim Swift blames a history of poor management on ERC.

He said: “This was a political decision taken because of years of a lack of action.

“The council’s decision to do nothing about the day care facility for all those years was a disgrace. It was a money pit that dragged the whole facility down.

“Kicking cans down the road only makes for even harder decisions in the long run.”

Meanwhile, MP Kirsten Oswald has called on the council to answer concerns, saying: “It is clear that the scale of savings envisaged by the council can only be achieved by radical change. Having made its decision, the council needs to move quickly to address uncertainty generated by its planned disposal.”

Commenting last week, a council spokeswoman said: “We want to assure residents, families and our staff that we will work closely with them to ensure everyone is supported through the change.”

But Save Bonnyton House campaigners complained: “This was not a consultation. The decision had already been made.

“We are going to fight on. We must remain involved, doing all we can to ensure that continuity of staff service and costs are maintained for those 28 residents. They deserve that at the very least.”