GMB calls for urgent inquiry over Orchard closures

The GMB union says it wants an inquiry over Orchard’s decision ‘to walk away from their responsibilities’ with the closure of two care homes in Kent.

Orchard Care Homes has given four weeks’ notice of the closure of its homes to residents, families and staff who work at the two homes at Westgate-on-Sea.

GMB wants Kent County Council to look in to the closures as a matter of urgency.

Frank Macklin, GMB regional organiser said: “In a week where the Conservative party have promoted capitalism at their conference, we have a real example of capitalism when it goes wrong and the tax payer has to step in and pick up the pieces.

“Kent County Council will have to use much needed resources to move these vulnerable residents at a time resources and funding from central government is facing huge cuts.

“The NHS will have to find funds for moving the residents to their new homes once they have been found and the tax payer will no doubt have to fund the huge redundancy bill for all the staff that will lose their jobs as a result of Orchard Care’s poor business.

“How can a company get away with just walking away from its commitments and act in such a mean and callous way towards its residents, their families and the staff who care for the residents? To give just four weeks’ notice of the closure has come as a complete shock to everyone.

“GMB has learned that residents are heartbroken after being told that they are to lose the homes that they love.

“Orchard Care say that they are losing money running the homes in Thanet. GMB has asked Orchard Care if the company has sold or are in the process of selling the land that the care homes sit on to developers, but to date, the GMB has not received any official response to the question.”

“GMB are currently planning a public meeting where residents, their families and staff can meet with local councilors from Thanet Council and Kent County Council and we will confirm the date and time of this once the proposed venue has been confirmed.”

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