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The Council believe that it costs much less to place a person in a Privately run Residential Care Home than it is to support them in a Council run Residential Care Home.

It is for this reason that Councils are starting to privatise the Residential Care Homes as they already have done with the Nursing Homes.

The only flaw with this is that we as a community can not rely on the Private Sector to be able to fully provision Residential Care Homes for us and in fact why should they - they are there as businesses to make a profit not provide succour at a reduced rate. That is what we pay our Council for - to look after the vulnerable.

Currently there are no new Independently run Residential Care Homes being built so no extra provision will be available once the Local Authority Care Homes close.

According to the County Council Officers the actual amount to place a person in a Private Care Home is £7,400 less per annum than the Council run Homes.

Yet the Private Sector is making a profit on this reduced rate.

We are told that the extra cost is down to the cost of "democracy".

That some how it costs on a 30 bedroom home in excess of a quarter of a million pounds more to run it under Council ownership than in the Private Sector.

On these figures the Council should be able to run the homes at break even if not on a profit making basis.

The underlying reason is of course for the County Council to move away from being a Service Provider of Care to the Elderly to a Purchaser of Services for the Elderly provided by the Private Sector a complete change of Policy.