The Tory party in opposition at South Lanarkshire Council are accusing their SNP minority administration colleagues of trying to pull a fast one.
The Conservatives blasted the decision to bring forward a proposal to transform transitional care provision as ‘urgent business’ – notifying other parties only the evening before a morning meeting of the Social Work Resources Committee.
With the meeting scheduled for 10am on Wednesday, April 25, and having only received the email at 4.45pm on the Tuesday, Tory councillors claim they had virtually no time to consider the plans.
South Lanarkshire Council have denied the allegations.
If approved four of South Lanarkshire’s eight residential care homes would shut.
Those earmarked for closure were Canderavon House and McClymont House in Clydesdale, as well as two in Hamilton. A single facility in Lanark would serve the whole of Clydedsale. These would include rooms where patients leaving hospital would receive care before returning home.
In the face of overwhelming opposition the Tories claimed the SNP administration made a last minute U-turn and withdrew the proposals.
Leader of the opposition Conservative Group, Councillor Alex Allison, said: “We recognise the need to reduce bed-blocking in hospitals and allow people to get back home.
“There is nothing worse than relatives having to travel for hours to visit their loved ones, so it is crucial we find local solutions. That is something that cannot be done without proper consideration.”
He added: “Councillors of all parties should have time to study the proposals, hear from their constituents, raise questions and properly scrutinise the plans, so that ultimately the right decisions are made.
“This matter affects the lives of some of the most vulnerable. It is too important to be rushed through and it would be utterly wrong for any administration to try to do so.
“South Lanarkshire has a minority SNP administration that claims to be committed to transparency and openness, but that simply doesn’t fit with bringing forward such significant proposals only the night before a committee meets.
A council spokesman said: “For many years both national and local policy on care for the elderly has been increasingly focused on helping people live for longer at home and in their communities. We know that is what people want, and as part of this the council and the Social Care Partnership have been trialling new approaches on intermediate care.