Councillor accused of hypocrisy and double standards over Fife Council care homes

Fife’s SNP social work spokesman has hit back in the row over the future of council-run care homes, accusing the main opposition party of “hypocrisy and double standards” by continuing to criticise the plans.

Councillor David Mogg condemned comments made by Labour leader Alex Rowley in The Courier last week after it emerged that Fife Council had formally started the process of seeking interest from the voluntary, private or not-for-profit sectors when it comes to replacing current services.

The SNP/Lib Dem administration is pressing ahead with the plans to replace provision in the 10 council-operated care homes, although Mr Rowley slammed the plans as being “short-sighted and plain wrong.”

That has now provoked a stern response from Mr Mogg, who believes Mr Rowley is “still in denial” about the state the last Labour government left the economy in.

“The cuts coming from Westminster are all too real but in Councillor Rowley’s fantasy world all can be achieved simply by wishing for it,” he said.

“It was obvious that Labour had buried their heads in the sand for the last 20 years when they were responsible for the administration in Fife.

“That is of course except when Alex Rowley, as the then leader of the council, solved a budget shortfall by closing down two care homes — one in Leven and one in Kirkcaldy— and distributing the residents to the four winds.”

He added, “This latest diatribe in the pages of The Courier adds up to hypocrisy and double standards being demonstrated by the Labour leader.

“In 2011 Labour eventually came up with a plan to replace about three homes by 2022 with no hint as to when the rest would be replaced, and even this could only be funded by withdrawing all the budgets for even basic maintenance of the remaining homes.

“Their entire response to the issue of care for the vulnerable has been characterised by misinformation, scaremongering, incompetence and irresponsibility.

“I find it sickening that Councillor Rowley continues to attempt to scare the elderly and their families in order to attack his opponents.”

Mr Mogg also rejected the idea that council-run care homes will be sold to the private sector, stressing that the local authority is inviting interested parties in the voluntary, not-for-profit and private sectors to submit proposals to build and run replacements for the ageing homes.

He said, “Our focus is on the welfare of the vulnerable, we’re taking steps to make sure our older people, now and in the future, get the quality of care they need and deserve.

“We have met this vision by examining alternative ways to meet those needs while always keeping the welfare of the individual at the centre of our plans.”