Care homes at risk once more as council sets savings target
CARE home closures look set to return to Carmarthenshire Council's agenda as the authority tries to make savings.
The authority's political leadership, who saw their plans to close Caemaen and St Paul's care homes in Llanelli thwarted in 2010 by a vote in full council inspired by a long campaign, said decisions would have to be revisited.
New proposals made for St Paul's is to stop providing residential care for older people at this site, but to keep the facility and use it as supported living accommodation, a residential setting for adults of working age who need a period of support for health conditions.
The authority said St Paul's continues to be under-occupied as a residential home for older people and there is plenty of capacity in Llanelli's other residential care homes to accommodate current residents should the proposals go through.
But a spokeswoman stressed that it is very early stages with public consultation to come before any decision.
"Looking after older people, including those in residential care, is one of the biggest budgets within the council," said Council leader Kevin Madge. "Because there is spare capacity within the council's own homes, and within privately run homes where the council still meets the costs for the individuals concerned, there is scope to accommodate all those needing accommodation at a lower cost."
He added that the council would save £1.7 million a year by re-providing the accommodation at St Paul's and Glanmarlais in the Aman Valley in other homes.
In 2010, there were jubilant scenes at Caemaen and St Paul's after backbench councillors voted to keep them both open.