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Norfolk care home privatisation plans put on hold

PUBLISHED: 09:09 07 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:27 02 July 2010

Proposals to part-privatise the running of care homes in Norfolk have been put on hold until councillors have looked at the plans in more detail.

Proposals to part-privatise the running of care homes in Norfolk have been put on hold until councillors have looked at the plans in more detail.

Sarah Hall

Proposals to part-privatise the running of care homes in Norfolk have been put on hold until councillors have looked at the plans in more detail.

Proposals to part-privatise the running of care homes in Norfolk have been put on hold until councillors have looked at the plans in more detail.

Norfolk County Council agreed in principle last month to create an in-house company to run and develop new housing with care schemes.

The £200m scheme would see up to two dozen council-run residential homes closed and replaced by 20 new housing with care schemes run and developed by the council's arms length firm Norse Group.

That move was welcomed by union bosses, who had feared the wholesale closure of care homes and privatisation of the service - with the loss of public sector jobs.

But, at a recent meeting of the county council's scrutiny committee, the ruling Conservative group was accused by opposition councillors of trying to bulldoze the scheme through.

David Harwood, cabinet member for adult social services, admitted at that meeting he had not given members a chance to look at the plans in advance.

The committee then agreed to recommend to cabinet that the process should be scrutinised by the adult social services review panel.

That decision to allow the adult social services review panel to take a look at the proposals was ratified when the cabinet met yesterday .

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