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Hebrides News

A deferred £350,000 saving by the effective downsizing of the Hillcrest as a children’s care home caused arguments in the comhairle meeting today.


Back in February 2016 councillors agreed not to press ahead with the changes until councillors were satisfied with transitional arrangements.


Councillors today heard a revamp was still being drawn up to “improve” the service with more effective use of staff.


The number of children using the home has fallen.


The council also wants to build a new, modern facility, possibly at Sandwick, outside Stornoway.


The Hillcrest building would be retained for a period in case it could be used for other purposes.


But SNP councillor Rae Mackenzie pointed out: “We are putting the cart before the horse” by voting for the change now without satisfactory arrangements in place.


Cllr Gordon Murray’s motion to delay approving the revamp proposals until more information was provided later this month.


If councillors were unhappy with the redesign of the service then Hillcrest should be retained.


Mr Murray said there “no agreed” model for the proposed arrangements was in place and it was essential children were in a “safe place.”

Councillors debate children care home service

7 February 2017