Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 17:20 UK

New hope for British Legion home

Crosfield House
Crosfield House in Rhayader is home to more than 50 residents

There is renewed hope for a Royal British Legion (RBL) home threatened with closure in Powys following a "constructive" meeting in London.

Councillors met the legion's director general Chris Simpkins in a last-ditch effort to save Crosfield House in Rhayader - the only RBL home in Wales.

The RBL said it had identified ways with Powys council to possibly "improve and develop the range of services".

The council has refused to pay a 30% increase in fees requested by the RBL.

Crosfield House has 50 residents, some of whom are ex-servicemen, and 80 staff.

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

We were able to identify ways in which the legion might continue to work with the county council in partnership
Chris Simpkins, RBL director general

But the council, which funds half the residents, said it could not afford the rise and would try to find a compromise.

Following Thursday's crisis talks in London, the RBL's Mr Simpkins said: "We had a constructive and helpful discussion which served to considerably improve mutual understanding of the issues our organisations face in providing care services in Rhayader.

"We were able to identify ways in which the legion might continue to work with the county council in partnership to retain a legion presence in Rhayader and, possibly, improve and develop the range of services provided."

Brecon and Radnorshire MP Roger Williams, who was at the meeting, said: "Powys County Council and the British Legion had an opportunity to explore methods of partnership and I hope these efforts may bear fruit.

"This care home is important both for the residents, their families and the local economy and I hope that it will not be necessary to close the home.

"I have made a submission to the consultation process and we now look towards next Thursday to see what decision is made regarding the future of this site."

Powys council is yet to comment on the meeting.

A delegation of councillors and council chief executive Mark Kerr met RBL chiefs, and handed over a petition of more than 2,000 names.

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
Threatened legion home meeting
19 Jun 08 |  Mid Wales
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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