A COUNCIL facing cutbacks of more than £100million has defended a decision to continue to staff an “empty” care home.
Durham County Council is employing workers at Glendale House, in Blackhall, despite its last resident having moved out nearly a month ago.
Council members voted to close seven homes last year after it emerged a £35million bill to bring them up to modern standards was “unaffordable”.
Glendale House now provides day care only, but staff are still working nights and weekends. The council expects this to continue for another month.
One worker, who asked not to be named, said: “Everybody’s fed up. It’s empty. It’s a waste of money.”
But Lesley Jeavons, head of adult care at the council, said the priority was to provide a service for people which did not compromise on quality or safety.
“Although Glendale House is now only serving day centre users, a limited and reduced staff provision is still required at night and during weekends,” she said.
“This is only a short-term arrangement and is necessary to ensure continuity of service and maintain the security of the property while we complete the process of closing it.
“Staff at the home have been issued with dates for their final day of employment and should have left the home by the middle of February.”
Last summer, the seven homes looked after more than 100 elderly people, but now only seven people are left.
The council has to save £114.6million by 2015 and plans to axe 1,600 jobs.