Spend needed to bring home up to scratch

Bangor Mail - - NEWS - BY GARETH WYN WIL­LIAMS gareth­wyn.wil­[email protected]­i­tymir­ror.com @Holy­head­Mail

HUN­DREDS of peo­ple packed out a vil­lage hall last Wed­nes­day night to make clear their op­po­si­tion to the pos­si­ble clo­sure of an An­gle­sey care home.

The fu­ture of the coun­cil­run Haul­fre home in Llan­goed was re­vealed to be un­der threat in June.

A coun­cil re­port found 21 ar­eas in need of im­prove­ment, 16 of which were deemed to be “es­sen­tial”, in­clud­ing sub­stan­tial fire risks.

As a re­sult, a full con­sul­ta­tion on the fu­ture of the home was car­ried out, much to the anger of lo­cal cam­paign­ers who cited “a history of chronic un­der­spend­ing” and urged the cash-strapped coun­cil to spend the es­ti­mated £1.5m needed to bring the fa­cil­ity up to scratch.

Lo­cal mem­bers Car­wyn Jones and Lewis Davies made pas­sion­ate pleas to keep Haul­fre open at the meet­ing in Llan­goed Vil­lage Hall, which was at­tended by about 200 peo­ple.

Fel­low lo­cal coun­cil­lor and cab­i­net mem­ber Al­wyn Row­lands stated he sup­ported “what­ever needed to be done” to re­tain the home.

Cllr Row­lands also read out a let­ter of sup­port from Al­bert Owen MP.

An­gle­sey coun­cil has long made known its in­ten­tion of im­ple­ment­ing a num­ber of ex­tra care schemes on the is­land over the com­ing years, re­plac­ing many of the cur­rent residentia­l care homes.

But, as was re­vealed by head of adult ser­vices Al­wyn Jones, £18,000 has been spent on fire pro­tec­tion and ad­di­tional staff at Haul­fre over re­cent months to al­le­vi­ate some of the most press­ing con­cerns.

Gwen Car­ring­ton, the au­thor­ity’s so­cial ser­vices di­rec­tor, noted that the con­sul­ta­tion was look­ing at the fu­ture of care in the Seiriol ward and not an ex­er­cise to close Haul­fre.

She went on to say that it was the “sin­cere hope” of coun­cil of­fi­cers that the home could be kept open un­til around 2019/20, when it was en­vis­aged that a new ex­tra care fa­cil­ity could re­place it in the area.

But Mrs Car­ring­ton said: “This can­not come at any cost, and the health and safety of the res­i­dents must come first.”

Many in at­ten­dance, in­cludi ing Rhun ap Ior­w­erth AM, ques­tioned the very need to con­tinue with the con­sul­ta­tion at all if the most se­ri­ous health and safety risks had been al­le­vi­ated.

Many also ex­pressed their wish to keep Haul­fre open as a residentia­l fa­cil­ity for the fores see­able fu­ture, claim­ing that e ex­tra care fa­cil­i­ties were not suit­able for some of the most vul­ner­a­ble older peo­ple.

Coun­cil leader Ieuan Wil­liams de­fended the coun­cil’s £1.5m “smarter work­ing” pro­ject, claim­ing the scheme to in­vest in Llangefni’s coun­cil of­fices was one that would en­sure long-term sav­ings as the coun­cil planned to close a num­ber of satel­lite of­fices on the is­land.

But many claimed that the money would be bet­ter spent pro­tect­ing An­gle­sey’s care home pro­vi­sion.

A full re­port with of­fi­cers’ rec­om­men­da­tions over the fu­ture of Haul­fre is ex­pected to be pre­sented to An­gle­sey coun­cil’s ex­ec­u­tive next month.

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