Care Homes Tax Warning

Keeping Staffordshire’s council-run care homes would add £100 to the council tax bill of every household in the county. This is the stark claim being put forward by Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for social care and health Councillor Susan Woodward.

The council has started consultation on plans to close 21 homes. It was  being done by independent group Agencia as, for the first time, the council put forward an option to close some homes and keep others open.

It has already made a ‘financial and political’ decision to go ahead with closure, but promised to consult before moving forward with the plans. Documents outlining the process will go to all the 396 care homes residents and their families and the 982 full and part-time staff affected by closures.

They will be given three options: maintaining the status quo; closing some homes and keeping others open; closing all homes and providing care in the independent sector and increasing care services in individuals’ homes to let  them maintain their independence. The council states in the literature that its preferred option is the latter.

Mrs Woodward said: “To keep the care homes open would cost every person in the county £38 and this includes babies, children and pensioners. This amounts to £100 on council tax for the average household. We can’t do that because we would be capped by government and also because people don’t want to pay it.”

This week staff will be contacted and informed of what’s happening, and between now and the end of July Agencia will visit each home to speak to residents and their families. The council will get a detailed report from the consultants between July and August, before its final decision.