10:20 Wednesday 11th July 2012
Andy Harper Show
BBC Radio Cambridge
ANDY HARPER: You’ve obviously heard the debate on Radio Cambridgeshire, but obviously are party to it anyway. What are your thoughts?
ED MURPHY: My views are that the councillors in Peterborough and the north of Cambridgeshire should see sense, and they should support these essential social services. And tonight at the Full Council they should change the recommendation to look at the future of care homes in Peterborough, not the closure. People have already moved from Peverils into Welland House in Peterborough. They don’t need another move within a few months. And we need to look at the staff who provide a quality service as well. I’m afraid we’ve got one or two councillors on Peterborough City Council who are just obsessed with the private sector option. There’s room for both the private and the public sector, and in many cases the public sector provides the best service possible.
ANDY HARPER: So are these particular homes fit for purpose? Because that’s what the debate is all about, whether people have seen it or not.
ED MURPHY: The chap who hasn’t seen it has been saying that they’re not fit for purpose. I live round the corner from Greenwood House. It is fit for purpose. The quality of care there is brilliant. If in the future we need to improve the facilities, and we need to build a new residential care home, there’s loads of land. It’s right beside Vawser Lodge, which the Council have closed down that’s lying empty, and it’s right beside the former Peterborough Hospital site, which is publicly owned anyway. So I think we should be looking at improving on what we’ve got. It’s just been refurbished, and they’ve not opened the refurbished area of that residential home. And if it’s not big enough, and we need more homes in Peterborough, let’s not go down the risky private route, like Southern Cross who went bust etcetera. Let’s go down the less risky safer public route.
ANDY HARPER: And can the Council afford it?
ED MURPHY: Oh yes they can. They’ve got millions of pounds in the capital programme just for this. And at the meeting yesterday the workers pointed out that rather than spend £3.7 million on their redundancy payments, put some of that into improving the current homes.