Page last updated at 05:50 GMT, Thursday, 19 June 2008 06:50 UK

Threatened legion home meeting

Crosfield House
Crosfield House is home to more than 50 residents

Councillors from Powys are travelling to London to meet the Royal British Legion (RBL) in a last ditch effort to save its only home in Wales.

Crosfield House in Rhayader which has 50 residents and 80 staff looks certain to close if Powys Council refuses to pay the 30% increase in fees.

The legion has said the rise is due to the deficit in the home's income.

The authority which funds half the residents says it cannot afford the rise and will try to find a compromise.

A petition of more than 2,000 names will be handed over.

Powys Council voted at a meeting last Tuesday not to increase the amount it pays for residents at Crosfield House.

I'm all for keeping it open for the whole of Wales - not just for Rhayader itself
Bob Pauling, chairman of the local RBL branch

Up to 40 campaigners demonstrated in support of the home before the meeting at Llandrindod Wells.

Crosfield House is the RBL's only home in Wales, but with a forecast deficit of 500,000 it appealed last month to the council to increase its fee levels.

The council's board rejected the request but chief executive Mark Kerr, who served as a Rear Admiral in the Royal Navy, and the chair of the board Michael Jones will meet the RBL's trustees in London on Thursday.

Bob Pauling, chairman of the local British Legion branch, said people in the town were "thoroughly disgusted" at the way the home was being treated.

Mr Pauling said members of the legion have said they will not take part in the annual poppy appeal in protest.

The Royal British Legion home looks likely to close

"I'm all for keeping it open for the whole of Wales - not just for Rhayader itself, but for everybody who comes back from the war in Afghanistan, or somewhere there's a war on," said Mr Pauling.

"There's somewhere for them to go when they can't be looked after by anybody else.

"The legion has told us nothing about it - we haven't been informed in any shape or form."

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

A 30-day consultation period is under way in which both the legion and the council 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
Council will not raise legion fee
10 Jun 08 |  Mid Wales
Protest staged over legion home
10 Jun 08 |  Mid Wales
Legion home under closure threat
24 May 08 |  Mid Wales

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