SNP Argyll and Bute Constituency Association pass motion on elderly care

At its meeting on 14th April, the SNP’s Argyll and Bute Constituency Association agreed the following motion, clearly relating to the internal upheavals in the council group over the decision to close Struan Lodge in Dunoon:

‘The SNP Council group on Argyll and Bute Council are committed to the introduction of a new strategy for the care of the elderly in Argyll and Bute to meet the increasing demands of our ageing population in a time where resources to meet demand are in decline and are likely to be for many years to come. In the next 25 years the elderly population of Argyll and Bute is predicted to rise by 75%. This strategy, if allowed to develop, will help ensure that our elderly people will be able to live independently for as long as possible and end their days in their own communities.

‘The strategy is based on increasing the availability of Extra Care Housing which can utilise resources unavailable other than for housing. The strategy will also encourage the independent sector, which currently provides 85% of elderly care capacity in Argyll and Bute, to invest in the development of new capacity to meet the increasing demand for high dependency and dementia care.

We believe consequences of not adopting this strategy are that –

  • There may quickly be insufficient care home places to meet local demand;
  • Bed blocking may significantly increase across Argyll and Bute;
  • The Council may come under pressure to build new care homes – the equivalent of one new care home every year for the next 20 years;
  • Investment in new provision in the independent sector may decline in the face of public sector competition;
  • The risk of independent sector care homes going out of business across Argyll and Bute may significantly increase;
  • The Council may have to consider slashing services even further in every other council service area and significantly increasing the costs of care in the community in order to meet demands.

‘This Constituency Association believes that  -

  • The Constituency Association endorse the principle of Argyll and Bute Council’s Adult Care strategy and supports the efforts of Councillors and staff.
  • The Constituency Association appeals to the council group to ensure that vulnerable, elderly people affected by this strategy are treated with compassion, respect and dignity in a genuine, meaningful consultation process;
  • The Constituency Association recommends all Branches work with the Council Group to promote this strategy to activists and community members.’

We read this motion as supportive of the strategy and proposals put forward and agreed by the administration, and by the full council, including the closure of the Struan Lodge care home.

This is a change of position and it leaves the dissident group animated by local Argyll and Bute SNP MSP, Michael Russell, looking isolated.

We read the change of position and the emergence of this motion as a further indication of what has been becoming increasingly obvious – that party central has finally woken up to the irrecoverable damage caused to the party in Argyll and Bute by this external fostering of internal discord amongst the SNP council group, on which we have published extensively.

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16 Responses to SNP Argyll and Bute Constituency Association pass motion on elderly care

  1. According to Council it is already 85% supplied by independent sector. Seems sensible given council homes are so expensive.

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    • I’m surprised because the SNP claim to be a left leaning socialist party. After the slating that Thatcher has had recently for her privatisation policies, amongst others, this latest statement seems to support my previous assertions that the SNP are more right than even the Tories!

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  2. The big picture here is the significant increase in our elderly population which threatens to overwhelm our council.

    It would be really uplifting if Forargyll and it’s contributors encouraged a debate on how we can meet this challenge.

    How can we change the demographics so that the majority of our new residents are young instead of prospective retirees?

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    • You can’t. Argyll and generally rural areas throughout the UK are where people of retiral age come to relax from a lifetime of work,mortgages, bringing up children etc etc. Why should they not have the change of lifestyle they have worked towards all their lives ? They are in the last quarter of their living existence on this earth. It’s up to government – local or otherwise to deal with it – the retirees have paid their dues and done their bit.

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    • Graeme I wonder if you could help me out here as I’m slightly confused.
      The motion states – “The SNP Council group on Argyll and Bute Council are committed to the introduction of a new strategy for the care of the elderly in Argyll and Bute to meet the increasing demands of our ageing population in a time where resources to meet demand are in decline and are likely to be for many years to come.”

      This appears to imply that the group recognises there will be an increasing demand for old age services, almost doubling current demand. It also appears to recognise that resources to meet this demand will actually decrease, therefore broadening the gap between need and capacity to deliver.
      How exactly does reducing current resources even further narrow the gap?

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  3. For this meeting read between the lines –meeting was a set up by Semple Robb and McCuish with folk there will probably not even paid up members to vote on.

    Cowal, Dunoon and other branches already fully support the retaining of Struan with improvements in its working. Meeting held in Tarbert to keep the pesky Dunoon and Cowal folk out the way and a poor attempt by the tripartite to deflect the issue away from them.

    The real decision is at the next council meeting where the motion supporting Struan residents and staff by Councillors Breslin (Independent) and Blair (SNP) will be debated and voted on . Which Councillor’s will close Struan—Semple Robb McCuish—– Anyone else?

    Be clear if Struan shuts so will the other council run facilities (doesn’t matter to Robb as there are none in Helensburgh and he would prefer to be with West Dunbartonshire Council.
    Property dealers/ private developers will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of a quick buck.

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  4. I’m afraid rather too much is being read into an anodyne motion which states the bleeding obvious.
    Nothing in it affects the status or prospects of the council run care homes but acknowledges the fact that at the moment the majority of provision is in the private sector which was exactly as this administration inherited it.
    The council leader at the meeting agreed to consider alternative proposals for Struan Lodge, particularly the forming of a social enterprise body to run it and movement is going on on this front at the moment.
    For the record there is considerable support in the Argyll and Bute SNP for council run care homes but the actualitie is that at the moment most provision is in private homes and a mixed provision is what there will be for the immediate future.

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  5. How would you describe your good self?
    Lib dem=Tory
    Labour= Tory
    Tory= Ukip
    Ukip=NFront?
    Independent= All of the above

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