Call to halt council care homes sale

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WORKSOP councillor Alan Rhodes has called for Notts County Council to halt its sale of six care homes, after errors were made in their valuation.

Writing to health minister Andrew Lansley and the district auditor, Coun Rhodes said a valuation report contained ‘basic errors’ which could affect the sale value.

The report by surveyors Lambert Smith Hampton was used to inform councillors’ decision about the care homes sale at last month’s full council meeting.

“This authority, like all others, is charged with achieving best value in the sale of its assets,” said Coun Rhodes.

“It is my belief that this has not been achieved, to the detriment of the county council’s reputation.”

He asked that the sale be halted and the homes re-valued.

The valuation report stated that Bramwell Care Home in Bramcote occupied just 0.89 acres of land, not the actual 3.4 acres.

A correction was circulated at the meeting, before the decision was made, saying this would not affect the home’s value.

Coun Rhodes said it was ‘astonishing’ and questioned the report’s legitimacy.

Notts County Council will make £2.5 million from the sale of its six its care homes. If sold as vacant properties on the open market the land would be worth £19 million.

A spokesman for Notts County Council said it was satisfied the valuation report was accurate and sound.