A decision to cut funding for six Leeds care homes before a consultation about their futures has even started has been slammed by residents.
Plans to save nearly £200,000 on funding the care homes were passed by Leeds City Council at a full council meeting on Wednesday, despite opposition attempts to postpone savings until the consultation had ended.
Families of elderly residents at homes including Primrose Hill, in Boston Spa, now fear the result is a “foregone conclusion”. The 12-week consultation begins on March 11.
A council spokeswoman insisted the suggestion of a pre-empted decision was “totally unfounded”.
However David Morton, chairman of the Save Primrose Hill Care Home group, whose 96-year-old father-in-law lives at the home, said: “We feel it sends the wrong message out. Where do they expect these elderly, frail people, who are incapable of fighting their own corner, to go? There are no more care homes in this area.”
Other homes under threat are Manorfield House, Amberton Court, Burley Willows, Fairview and Musgrave Court.
Coun Gerald Wilkinson (Con, Wetherby) said: “It’s disgusting. It’s more or less stated they intend to close it, and the consultation exercise is just a formality.”
At Wednesday’s full council meeting, Coun Andrew Carter, leader of the Conservative group, said: “I just think it gives an awful message to the people living in these homes and their families.”
But his party’s bid to table a motion to postpone savings until after the consultation was rejected by the majority of councillors.
A council spokeswoman said: “Many residents and their families will be feeling anxious about this issue, and it is our intention to handle the whole process very sensitively.”
She said a similar consultation in 2011 showed the exercise can change decisions.