Wokingham Borough Council – another Sham Consultation

Liberal Democrat councillors are very disappointed but not in the least surprised that the Conservative Executive at Wokingham Borough Council voted unanimously on 15th May to close Fosters residential care home.

The consultation responses from residents of Fosters and their families stated overwhelmingly that they did not want Fosters to close. But as usual the Conservatives have not listened. Lib Dem Cllr Lesley Hayward (Bulmershe & Whitegates ward) explains “The Conservatives seemed to think what was most important was the lack of en-suite bathroom facilities. But for the residents and their families it is not simply about the building. What matters to them is quality of life and that’s about care and relationships. The Executive just didn’t seem to understand that. Now Foster’s residents face disruptive and upsetting moves that however well-managed will affect the care and well-being of these vulnerable people.”

The Liberal Democrat group considered Calling-In the closure of Fosters – challenging the process followed by the Executive to arrive at their decision and asking them to reconsider. However, unlike the Tories, we listened to the relatives. They did not believe the Executive would change their minds and therefore thought there was no point in prolonging the process.

Cllr Prue Bray leader of the Wokingham Liberal Democrats added “This is yet another example that shows the Conservatives just don’t understand what consultation is. Holding sham consultations and not listening to people stems from the Conservatives’ belief that they always know best. As the shambles of the waste collection shows, that is not true. Although the decision to close Fosters has been made, the Liberal Democrats will continue to fight for the interests of vulnerable elderly people and their relatives, whose wishes the Conservatives have ignored in this consultation.

Notes:

  • The Fosters consultation ran from November 2011 to March 2012.
  • The decision on Fosters was delayed from 29th March Executive meeting (in order to avoid bad news during the local elections?), and was made at an Extraordinary Meeting held on Tuesday 15th May 2012.

Published by Woodley & Whitegates Liberal Democrats, 26 Farriers Close Woodley, Reading RG5 3DD.

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