Two Llanelli care homes saved from threat of closure

TWO Llanelli care homes have been saved from the threat of clousre. A packed public gallery at County Hall erupted in cheers when councillors voted 38 to 28 to keep Caemaen and St Paul’s open in local authority control.

The defeat was a blow for Carmarthenshire Council bosses who had recommended St Paul’s shut and Caemaen be privatised. It will also result in council tax going up.

An ecstatic June Newnham, 82, who was at county hall campaigning for her 91-year-old sister Mary James, a Caemaen resident, said: “Everyone was so relieved and happy that they will not be moved out. They were full of smiles and tears. They were over the moon.”

The homes have 19 empty spaces between them and council leaders, grappling with the increasing cost of caring for the elderly, thought their homes plan would offer savings to help off-set those bills.

Councillor Pat Jones, executive board member for social services, said: “Those that say ‘things should stay as they are’ are closing their eyes to reality.”

But Plaid and other opposition councillors, supported by some members of the ruling Labour and Independent groups, argued they needed local authority-run homes and could not rely on a “volatile” private sector.

Councillor Mike Burns said he supported caring for people in their own homes, but added: “For some people care homes will be the right answer.”