MP accuses ERC of not being transparent

Kirsten Oswald MP at Bonnyton house
Kirsten Oswald MP at Bonnyton house

An MP has spoken out accusing East Ren Council of not being transparent in its dealings with staff and families over the sale of Bonnyton House.

Kirsten Oswald, MP for East Renfrewshire, has voiced her concerns over a lack of information on the proposed sale of Bonnyton House care home in Busby by East Renfrewshire Council.

After a lengthy period of uncertainty, East Renfrewshire Council had planned for the care home to be sold off in April this year, however no suitable buyer was found for it prior to that deadline.

The Extra understands that two bids were received by a revised deadline in July, but the council has still not clarified their plans with residents, families or staff.

A number of constituents have approached Kirsten, raising concerns about the length of this process, a lack of information on the prospective buyers of the facility, and the council’s plans for Bonnyton.

Ms Oswald said: “I would urge East Renfrewshire Council to be more open with the staff and residents of Bonnyton House regarding this issue.

“I am frustrated by the delays and uncertainty which are causing real anxiety for residents and their families. The staff have also had these sale plans hanging over their head for two years now. This is simply unacceptable, and East Renfrewshire Council need to come clean on what their plan is.

“As things stand, the staff, residents and families have been left to speculate on the prospective buyers by undertaking their own investigations, rather than receiving timely and transparent information from the council.

“Concerns have also been raised that the council’s desire for a capital receipt from the sale could be given undue weight in assessing bids.

“Those directly affected by the plans have been left in limbo for too long. I hope that East Renfrewshire Council will recognise this, and provide them with the clarity they deserve.”

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire Council responded: “This has been a complex process and throughout we have worked closely with the service users, families and staff to ensure they have been kept up-to-date.

“Given the level of communication with all involved we do not accept that there has been a lack of information provided. We fully appreciate that this has been an anxious time for everyone involved and we are working hard to bring the process to a conclusion as soon as possible.

“It is important however that we get the process right to ensure the very best outcome for service users and staff. We always planned for these changes to be completed by March 2017 and are currently progressing with the sale process. We will continue to ensure that all interested parties are fully informed as the sale plans progress further.”