Council proposes to shut Melton’s Catherine Dalley House care home

Campaigners at a Melton market stall in 2007 petitioning to keep Catherine Dalley House in local authority hands. Pictured from left are'Mark and Janet Horsey, former Melton borough and Leicestershire county councillor Matthew O'Callaghan, Sara Dickinson and Helen and Christine Wilkinson. EMN-150806-145335001
Campaigners at a Melton market stall in 2007 petitioning to keep Catherine Dalley House in local authority hands. Pictured from left are'Mark and Janet Horsey, former Melton borough and Leicestershire county councillor Matthew O'Callaghan, Sara Dickinson and Helen and Christine Wilkinson. EMN-150806-145335001
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Leicestershire County Council is proposing to close it 31-bed Catherine Dalley House care home in Melton, saying it can’t afford to spend £315,000 on upgrading the facility.

The council, which is set to decide next week to launch a consultation on its proposals, also believes it can find appropriate alternative care in Melton for people who need it, with other care home beds available in the town.

Dave Houseman, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “We can’t afford to spend £315,000 upgrading Catherine Dalley House at a time we have to save £82 million over the next four years.

“Over the last eight years we’ve staged three consultations on the future of Catherine Dalley but proposals to either transfer it to a new owner or to develop extra care housing on the site haven’t worked out.

“We believe it’s time to end the uncertainty for the remaining 12 residents and consult on closure. If, following consultation, the decision is taken to close we will work with each resident to find them places in suitable homes nearby.”

A report to the council’s ruling Cabinet says closure is proposed because:

l The home – converted from a former hunting lodge – needs £140,000 of immediate repair work, plus an additional £175,000 over the next two to five years to meet the latest regulations

l There are 317 alternative care home beds in Melton which will rise by a further 91 after a new nursing home recently obtained planning permission.

If the cabinet agrees to launch the consultation it will take place between June 23 and September 21. It’s proposed that any consultation would include meetings with staff and residents.

A County Hall spokesman said: “If consultation takes place, the Cabinet will take a final decision on Catherine Dalley in November. If closure is approved it would take place by June 2016.”

A County Hall spokesman said: “The adjacent Silverdale hostel site has been vacant since 2006. Closing Catherine Dalley would, combined with Silverdale, provide a larger site that would be more attractive for a possible extra care development.

“Closing Catherine Dalley would also save £146,000 per year in running costs, as part of the council’s overall budget savings.”

The county council has been working with partners to develop extra care – housing developments which enable people to live in their own homes, with care and support available on site.

Catherine Dalley is the council’s remaining care home for older people, following the transfer of its other homes to Leicestershire County Care Ltd.

In 2007 campaigners in Melton launched what turned out to be an unsuccessful campaign to keep Catherine Dalley in local authority hands and to fight against council proposals, at that time, to sell it on to independent providers.