Councillors reject closure of Blaenau Gwent care home

VALLEYS councillors voted against plans to close a residential care home. At a Blaenau Gwent council meeting, councillors recommended a Tredegar residential home stay open for the forseeable future.

In 2006, Blaenau Gwent council agreed a 15-year plan for elderly people, called ‘Living Independently in the 21st Century.’

It was hoped more elderly people could be cared for at home and in extra care sheltered housing, so four of the five residential homes in the borough were earmarked for closure: Hafod Dawel in Nantyglo, Plas y Coed in Ebbw Vale, Tredegar’s Cartref Aneurin Bevan and Crawshay House in Brynmawr.

Hafod Dawel and Plas y Coed have been closed and the council is now considering the fate of the remaining two.

It was recommended the process of closing Cartref Aneurin Bevan begin this month, with families of residents consulted and alternative homes found, followed by Crawshay House in spring 2012.

Closing the homes would address issues of surplus bedrooms and the cost of bringing buildings up to scratch.

There are currently 13 vacancies at Cartref Aneurin Bevan, which needs £212,000 to refurbish, and two at Crawshay House, which needs £81,000 of refurbishment.

There are 25 residents in Cartref Aneurin Bevan and 26 in Crawshay House.

Residents would be encouraged by the council to move into new flats built under its £12 million Extra Care Sheltered Housing scheme.

This includes 41 flats in Ebbw Vale opening in September, 45 flats currently under construction in Nantyglo and a round-the-clock care team.

At a meeting of the special care and inclusion scrutiny committee on Friday, Tredegar Central and West councillor Steve Thomas put forward a motion to postpone the closure of Cartref Aneurin Bevan, instead suggesting it be improved as much as possible until Assembly funding is secured for a replacement.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the alternative, but the final decision will go to the executive committee.

The authority said it could not rule out compulsory redundancies for the 44 permanent and 44 part-time staff at Cartref Aneurin Bevan and 31 permanent staff at Crawshay House, but it aims to re-deploy them in similar services.