Concerns over £35m cost of Kirkcaldy care home plan

PLANS to build a multi-million pound care home in a Scottish town have prompted calls for local authorities to prove their projects are value for money.

Fife Council has revealed that their new care facility in Kirkcaldy will cost £8 million to build, plus almost £20 million in interest on the initial loan.

Businessman Robert Kilgour, who owns care homes and has been a developer for more than 20 years, said the true cost would be even higher – up to £35 million in total – once all extra costs of the project were included.

But he said allowing the private sector to pick up the costs of creating a care home, then leasing it back to the council, would save the authority hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

But MSPs and councillors have questioned whether the project was good value for money at a time when councils across Scotland were talking of having to make thousands of redundancies.

Murdo Fraser, Scottish Conservative health spokesman, said: “All councils must be looking to get value for money from every penny of taxpayers’ cash they spend, whilst ensuring effective delivery of services.

“This blinkered attitude towards the private sector, especially at a time when we are dealing with the consequences of Labour’s debt legacy, will not do.

“It is just as capable of delivering care of the highest standard and if that quality care comes at less of a price then surely it is a viable option. Fife Council will have to answer to their Council Tax payers for this decision.”

Claire Baker, MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, said: “These figures are really rather concerning and show just how incompetent this SNP council is.

“No-one doubts the need for quality care homes locally, but projects such as this must deliver value for money.”