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"Don't blame us for Tory bungling", say Tories

April 5, 2021 10:08 AM

Wiltshire's Conservative council leader Philip Whitehead has asked councillors and candidates not to respond to emails about Furlong Close, the facility for vulnerable residents which the council is attempting to dispose of. "Individuals trying to make this an election matter will not help the situation at all," he says.

Of course this website is happy as ever to go along with Mr Whitehead's wishes. We may also keep quiet about other bungles such as the loss of control of the planning process, the infliction of an unnecessarily high level of council tax on the people of Wiltshire, the closure of Youth Services across the county, and so on.

Points made by relatives include that,

- "A national charity has withdrawn altogether from the provision of care in Wiltshire, because it says the Council has "lied" about its role in the decision to close Furlong Close and has "breached its statutory duties" to the residents."

- "The closure decision, which has been misrepresented to the public (including by Cllr Whitehead) as being "not about money", now turns out to be "all about money.""

- "The closure decision, which was being planned by Hft and the Council for almost a year before it was announced last October, was taken without any consultation with the residents or their families."

- "The WC leadership continues to campaign for re-election on the basis of what Cllr Whitehead claims is its "excellent record of looking after the vulnerable", when the case of Furlong Close makes it clear that the Council grossly underfunded a critical service over many years and then collaborated in planning to close it, thereby deliberately inflicting trauma and distress on some of the most vulnerable people in our society."

They also point out the curious contention from Cllr Whitehead that many of the residents don't count as they're 'not from Wiltshire.' This despite their having spent years or decades at Furlong Close. Whilst they may be externally funded, they're still Wiltshire residents!

The cabinet member responsible for the tragic debacle of Furlong Close is Simon Jacobs (Con, Devizes and Roundway South).