PLANS to shut an ‘outdated’ Sheffield care home with the loss of up to 31 jobs are to be approved despite concern from trades unions.
Sheffield Council’s cabinet is to approve the proposals on Wednesday. They are part of a shake-up of sheltered housing and care homes for elderly people in Stocksbridge first proposed in 2007.
Newton Grange, off Manchester Road, which has 23 permanent beds and seven respite beds, will close and be knocked down.
It will be replaced with 50 flats for elderly people which will be built by social housing landlord Sanctuary.
Another home in the area, Sweeney House, which can accommodate up to 39 people, will also close permanently because of its ‘poor layout and structural problems’.
But Balfour House, which accommodates up to 35 residents and was earmarked for long-term closure five years ago, will be redeveloped at a cost of £1.2 million, providing 29 ‘remodelled’ sheltered units.
There were proposals to develop an alternative high-specification ‘extra care’ sheltered scheme in Stocksbridge but the plans have been scrapped due to lack of funds.
Residents from Newton Grange will be accommodated at other council homes or with independent providers.
Dean Harper, regional officer for trade union Unison, said: “Our members who stand to lose their jobs are disappointed and don’t agree with the proposals. Newton Grange is the last remaining old people’s residential home in Sheffield.
“We blame the Government’s cuts for the fact the council cannot afford to go ahead with developing the alternative plans.”
In a report council officers said there were just 12 residents at Newton Grange last month.
Another 55 live at Sweeney and Balfour houses.
The council says although Newton Grange has an excellent reputation, it ‘does not meet the required standards for a residential care home’ .
Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for health, care and independent living, said the plans would ‘give older people better housing and support options in their local area’.
Tenants living in Sweeney House will have first choice of the new accommodation and Sweeney will not be closed until the new accommodation is ready.