TRADE UNIONS at Ceredigion County Council have responded to the consultation on the future of Bodlondeb residential care home by calling on council officers to work positively to identify ways to overcome the financial difficulties facing the home.
The unions are clear that everything should be done to keep the care home open for the existing and future residents, and to maintain services and employment in the area.
Owain Davies, UNISON Ceredigion county branch secretary, said: “Bodlondeb is a highly regarded and well-loved care home, providing a very valuable service to the elderly residents of Aberystwyth and North Ceredigion.
“We were very alarmed and disappointed when the council decided to consult on its future with only one option being presented – the of closure and disposal of the home.
“Their proposal is a short-sighted response to the immediate budgetary pressures faced by the council and provides no vision or strategy as to how the services currently provided by Bodlondeb will be replaced. The closure of this care home would leave a big gap in the provision of elderly social care at a time when we expect demand on services to rise rapidly.
“The response from the local community are angry over these plans. Hundreds have attended public meetings and rallies stating that they do not want this care home to close.
“The trade unions continue to highlight the reasons for the current under-occupancy of the home and how they can be addressed. We have set out clear and practical suggestions as to how the home can be adapted and developed to meet changing needs and requirements and so secure its long-term future.
“UNISON is aware of the financial challenges facing all councils at the moment, but we the response to those challenges should not be to run down and then close essential public services that so many in the local community rely on.
“With the appropriate expertise and investment, Bondlondeb could become a real asset for the council and could even generate income.
“The dedicated staff at the home are very much committed to its future, there is a clear business and service needs case for keeping the home open, but what is missing is the will of Chief Officers at the council to do so.
“In our consultation response the trade unions have set out a clear way forward for the home.
“It is our expectation to meet with council officers and hold ‘open book’ discussions with them to identify the practical steps that need to be taken to secure the future of Bodlondeb.
“At the very least, councillors should be presented with a range of options – showing the costs, benefits, and risks of each option – before they are asked to make a decision that clearly goes against the will of the local population, and will risk significantly the ability of the council to deliver its statutory responsibilities in the coming decade.”
Recognition given to long-standing members of Council committee
AT AN Ethics and Standards Committee (virtual) meeting held on 17 September 2021, Rif Winfield and Hywel Wyn Jones were given recognition for their 10 years’ of service to the Committee between 2011 and 2021. A small plaque was presented to both.
Hywel was Chair of the Committee for 3 years.
In their place, two new independent members Alan Davies and Caryl Davies have been appointed.
Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council said, “Ceredigion County Council has benefitted from a decade of advice and considerations provided by Rif & Hywel. We welcome the new members of the committee and their input to the function of the Committee will be greatly appreciated.”
Standards Committees of local authorities exist to do all that is possible to promote and safeguard the standards that the public rightly expect from their elected representatives.
Ceredigion County Council Chairman, Councillor Paul Hinge, said, “Our thanks go to Rif and Hywel who have given their time to contribute to the Committee and we welcome the new members.”
The Committee is made up of five independent members, two county councillors and two town/community councillors. Meeting quarterly, reports for the Ethics and Standards Committee including dispensation applications can be found on the Council website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk.
Exciting new developments on the horizon for Lampeter Wellbeing Centre
At a Cabinet meeting held on 01 December 2020, it was agreed that Lampeter Leisure Centre would become the location of the Council’s first Wellbeing Centre in the County.
A significant amount of work and investment is to be made at the Leisure Centre which will improve the facility and the resources for years to come.
Over the coming months, as we see the plans and proposals for Wellbeing Centre develop, they will be shared with service users and the residents of Ceredigion.
Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility. The layout will be a reconfiguration of the existing facility in order to provide a Wellbeing Centre that can provide an enhanced range of Through Age Services, including Leisure Services to the residents of Lampeter and the mid of the county.
Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member, said: “We are looking forward to the development of the new Wellbeing Centre at Lampeter. This will provide a range of services to residents within their local community.
This development comes at a welcome time, as Ceredigion Public Service Board is carrying out an Assessment of Local Wellbeing, in order to find out about the wellbeing of local people and communities, now and in the future.”
Lampeter Leisure Centre will be closed during the building works, but during this period alternative provision will be made available for all service users and clubs.
We look forward to being able to share these alternative plans with you over the coming weeks, as soon as these arrangements have been finalised.
UK Government must improve HGV drivers’ working conditions – Ben Lake MP
FOLLOWING his contribution during PMQs on September 8 regarding the HGV driver crisis, Ben Lake MP has raised the issue again, with Minister Grant Shapps.
Ben Lake MP has said:
“Many constituents who work in the HGV industry have come forward to share their experiences with me about the HGV driver crisis. As well as expressing grave concern, they have also shared ideas and long-term solutions that would greatly improve the current situation.
“It’s important that the UK Government listens and gives full consideration to these suggestions and I look forward to meeting with the Minister in the near future to discuss them further.”
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