Bonnyton campaigners ‘in limbo’ over future

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Bonnyton House staff, residents and relatives continue to campaign against East Renfrewshire Council plans to sell off the care home as part of a three year budget cut.

The council’s last remaining care home, in Busby, welcomed East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald last week, hoping to gain her support in the fight to stop privatisation plans.

In a letter to ERC, one protester writes: “Once the home is out of your hands, you will not have the same degree of control. You cannot promise that there will be no impact on the quality of care.

“I accept that ERC need to make savings. But I believe you can achieve the savings you want at Bonnyton without transfer, by a combination of higher charges and economies worked out with the managers and staff.”

As well as a petition, the campaigners have given the council an alternative savings plan, which they say will cover ERC’s estimated £600,000 saving.

The council has promised an independent review — but those involved with Bonnyton say they feel “left in the dark”.

One staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “The standard of care is bound to fall — whoever takes over will be running it as a business, for profit.

“We’re in limbo. The staff have written a letter asking for a meeting, but that was weeks ago and we haven’t been informed of what’s going on.”

Resident Nettie Hall (92) and daughter Sandra added: “It’s a great home, and it’s the only council-run one East Ren has — we can’t understand why they want to sell it. We understand they have financial restraints but surely they can find it from somewhere else.”

Following her visit to Bonnyton, MP Kirsten Oswald told The Extra: “I have had a number of discussions about Bonnyton House, unanimous in their positive feedback.

“It would be a great shame if ERC decided to put Bonnyton into private hands. I hope that they will consider retaining the facility under their control, and allowing staff the opportunity to put their ideas — ideas which could mean the financial future of Bonnyton looked more positive — into operation.

“If we lose this great community asset, we won’t get it back.”

ERC was unable to give an update on the independent review as The Extra went to press.