PLANS have been unveiled to close Leeds City Council’s three remaining specialist residential care homes.
The proposals, set to be discussed by councillors next week, affect Siegen Manor in Morley, Middlecross in Armley and The Green in Seacroft as well as their associated day centres.
They are part of a multi-million pound cost-cutting strategy by the council, which would also include stopping permanent admissions to two more homes and looking at social enterprises taking over the running of two others.
These moves would save £4m over the next four years and, if agreed by councillors, a public consultation would start immediately.
Coun Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “It is important to emphasise that this is the start of a consultation process. No decisions have been made and we need work together to gather the views of everyone involved before any further steps are taken.
“These are incredibly difficult options to have to consider, but the council’s current financial situation means they are not something that we can shy away from.
“We are acutely aware that any consultation concerning the future of care provision can create a great deal of uncertainty and worry for those who receive care as well as for their family and loved ones.
“However, the harsh reality is that government cuts to our budget mean we simply cannot afford to continue to provide adult social care in the same way that we have in the past and we must look at new ways of doing things both now and in the future.”
The proposals make up the next phase of the council’s four-year Better Lives Strategy, which has included shutting several other residential care homes and day centres across the city.
Local authority bosses say the changes are part of moves away from institutional care and necessary in the face of budget cuts which mean the council needs to save £48m over the next year alone.
Under the latest plans, permanent admissions to Knowle Manor in Morley and Spring Gardens in Otley would cease once a suitable alternative has been identified, while a business case will be drawn up for Home Lea House and Dolphin Manor in Rothwell, which local community groups are interested in establishing social enterprises to take over.
Coun Ogilvie added: “We need to be clear that whatever the result of the consultation, nobody will be forced to leave their home or day services until an alternative has been found nearby that they are happy with and which fits their individual needs.
“Those taking part in the consultation will of course be supported every step of the way and we will make sure they are fully informed and involved at all stages.”
The meeting of the council’s Executive Board to decide on the plans takes place next Wednesday.