Page last updated at 06:13 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 07:13 UK

Protest staged over legion home

Save Crosfield House poster
A petition has started in an attempt to save the home

Campaigners trying to prevent a home for elderly ex-servicemen from closing are demonstrating outside a special meeting to discuss its future.

Crosfield House in Rhayader, Powys, is the only Royal British Legion home in Wales but a forecast 500,000 deficit could force it to close its doors.

Powys council is meeting on Tuesday to discuss the property which will be followed by a public meeting.

But the council is not expected to vote in favour of providing extra funding.

Last month, the Royal British Legion (RBL) told the council it needed to pay 30% more for its residents at the home, but it said it could not meet such financial demands.

We remain very happy to consider any constructive and realistic proposals from Powys and to consider any new proposals that they may have
Royal British Legion

Unions claim closing the home, which is home to 50 ex-service people and residents, would also lead to the loss of 80 jobs.

The legion said the deficit was due to increased maintenance costs, under-occupancy, the low rates paid by the council and a higher number of local authority-funded residents.

The council said it had been in discussions with the RBL but they had been disappointing.

"Officers have provided a range of options to help secure this development, including block residential and nursing care contracts, domiciliary day care provision, and the possibility of them providing extra care housing on site," said the council.

"To date all of these suggestions have been declined by the RBL.

"In essence, this centres on the fact that the RBL, in order to secure the future of the home, are requesting fee levels which are substantially in excess of what the council currently pays."

Crosfield House
Crosfield House is the only Royal British Legion home in Wales

The RBL said certain parts of Crosfield House fell short of the standards "required under the Care Standards Act 2000", such as the lavatories and washing facilities.

A spokeswoman added: "We have to adhere to the legislative standards which have now been set for some years.

"Up 'til now we have been given special dispensation, but we now have to invest to meet the standards set by the government.

"The Royal British Legion opened discussions with Powys council and residents, relatives and staff last October.

"We remain very happy to consider any constructive and realistic proposals from Powys and to consider any new proposals that they may have - within the timescale we have set."

A 30-day consultation period has also started where both parties have been asked to put forward suggestions for saving the home.

Their ideas will be passed on to the home's board of trustees who will discuss the findings at a meeting on 26 June.




SEE ALSO
Legion home under closure threat
24 May 08 |  Mid Wales

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