The debacle that has become Bonnyton House Care Home rumbles on unabated as yet another closing date passes without a buyer.
The sale of the business, which has been the subject of widespread opposition, and which has been on the market since January 2016, has now become the council’s albatross.
A previous sale fell through when the prospective purchasers withdrew at the last minute after reports by the Care Commission became public knowledge.
A spokesman for the ‘Save Bonnyton’ group said: “We are disappointed to hear that ERC are still trying to sell their only remaining care home. We have made several suggestions backed up with financial forecasts showing the care home currently a valuable community asset could also be a viable asset.
“We presented our findings to the CHCP about one year ago and they dismissed these without any discussion with the authors.
“There are I understand elected members of ERC that see an opportunity for Bonnyton House now that Mearnskirk Hospital is closing.
“Bonnyton could be expanded to provide palliative care. A much needed community service within ERC. We trust the council will have the foresight, creativity and intelligence to develop this much needed facility currently a flagship within the community.”
Jackson Carlaw MSP commented: “It is an outright disgrace that East Renfrewshire Council continue to push the sale of our community’s only publicly owned and operated residential care home.
“It is shocking that the council failed to heed the plans of my colleague Cllr Swift, which would have returned Bonnyton House to financial stability.
“Residents, their families and workers are again left in the lurch as the Council seeks a quick cash injection.”
Cllr Swift remarked: “Serendipity is an interesting friend. Notwithstanding the desire to better support people to die at home, that is not always what people or their families want, nor is it always possible.
“Bonnyton House is a potentially perfect site for some of the beds required to look after people.
The restrictive terms of sale means nobody will even consider buying Bonnyton so we will probably have to keep it.”
The Extra learnt that one prospective purchaser, former community council chair and businessman, David Jesner had been approached by the selling agents after noting an interest in the property previously, He told The Extra: “Unfortunately Christies had a closing date of October 2 on this property which simply couldn’t allow me and my business partners, who were out of the country, to carry out proper due diligence, so we were unable to proceed any further.
“Because of the amount of restriictions which have been placed on the sale of Bonnyton House in terms of staffing, wages, client retention, and the fact it’s hemorrhaging money, I very much doubt this will ever sell.”
East Renfrewshire Council said: “On 19 January 2017 we publicly reaffirmed our commitment to selling Bonnyton House after the preferred bidder withdrew. Nothing has changes since that time.
“The HSCP had a closing date of October 2 to allow an updated report to be presented to the Integrated Joint Board in late November.”
An insider source at selling agents Christies told us: “The closing date of October 2 passed without a sale having been concluded. One of the main problems with this business is the fact that the staff wage bill is double turnover because employees are paid at way above the market rate.”