Yesterday Visit Scunthorpe learned that should the Labour Party have retained power after last weekï¿½s election, then they would have saved Scotter House and The Lilacs.
When we found out about this, we had two questions which we are sure every one will be asking.
1 - Why tell us this now, after you've lost the election
2 - Where's all the money suddenly come from?
The council entered into a consultation with the public about both care homes approximately 6 weeks ago. Some campaigner's felt that the questions asked on the consultation questionnaire were unfair as they offered no choice of keeping the service open as it is, just closing or reducing the services available.
Users of the services combined with campaign groups, employees and trade unionists worked together to collect signatures both on the high street and also online. There have been several protests, the most recent of which was attended by Neil Poole who (we have been told by those are the protest) reportedly told campaigners that if her were to be elected he'd campaign to save the services.
Well Neil, here's your chance.
Back to our questions. The first one we already knew the answer to, so its rhetorical on our behalf, but its to do with a legal practice in the campaign period of an election called Purder.
The Purder rules state that once a campaign has been called, a council, elected body, MP etc can not undertake an action or make a decision which may influence the outcome of the election.
The issue that we really didn't know about though was where has all of this money suddenly come from? We thought that reader's may appreciate knowing, so we investigated and have discovered that due to a renegotiation of the waste contract (announced at the last council meeting) that enough funds were generated to allow both the Lilacs and Scotter house to be saved.
This comes just 1 day before the Coalition of Resistance plan to hold a meeting to discuss the potential impact of the Tory cuts.
Knowing that there is more money in the bank than was originally though, questions the statement made by local Conservative MP to Visit Scunthorpe yesterday. Andrew Percy told us that the new Tory group would need to implement an emergency budget, perhaps as soon as the 25th of this month.
In a statement given to Visit Scunthorpe yesterday Cllr Pauline Carlile, Labour's spokeswoman on Adult Services, said: "The consultation period ended last Tuesday but our minds had been made up by that point by the sheer weight of feeling. It was an extremely effective consultation process and one we needed to go through to ensure any future decision was robust. It would have been wrong of us to announce that decision in the week of the local elections - people would have said we were playing politics with the situation - so we made the decision to wait until today."
Labour leader Cllr Mark Kirk added: "Today would have been the day we announced The Lilacs and Scotter House were to be saved. I would like to thank all of those who participated in the consultation. We listened. I now call on the new Conservative administration to do what we were intending to do and make a decision without delay. The consultation results are pretty clear and people should be told what will happen immediately."
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