Red faces at Leeds council after care home ‘closure’ gaffe

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A BUREACRATIC bungle has left Leeds council bosses red-faced - after a letter was mistakenly sent to elderly care home residents telling them the facility was about to be shut down.

Residents of Rosemont in Bramhope were left in confusion after the gaffe, which emerged just days after they had been given reassurances of a full consultation on the facility’s future.

Leeds City Council has confirmed it has “concerns” about the quality of the accommodation and is “looking at future options” for the site, closure being one of those options. An urgent meeting has now been held with residents of the home. The YEP understands an internal investigation into the letter error is being carried out.

Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel, confirmed he has now met with residents and promised that “we will fully consider their views in the decision making process”.

He said: “I want to let them know personally that I was neither aware of, nor had authorised the letter which was sent to residents telling them Rosemont was to close. I was profoundly disappointed to find out that it had been sent in error.

“We don’t want to force anyone to move out, but I also wanted to point out that significant investment of almost £10m has been made in sheltered housing in the area and the opportunities this presents for better, warmer, safer accommodation. We are not convinced Rosemont’s bedsit accommodation provides good enough quality facilities for the future. In the event we make the difficult decision to close, we will provide tailored personal support to all tenants to meet their housing and support needs.”

The red-tape gaffe has been slammed by Leeds North West Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland, who had earlier demanded an explanation for the letter - and its apparent contradiction to earlier public statements by the council.

He told the YEP: “We are in this extraordinary situation where the residents were explicitly told Rosemont would close, and despite saying it was apparently an error, judging by their statement the council still seem to be heading down that path. This whole process must be restarted, with a proper effort made to refurb the property. It’s all very well saying £10m has been invested in sheltered accommodation- but Rosemont has seen none of that.”

Paula Dillon, President of Leeds Chamber Commerce.

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