Alderney States urged to find extra £737k for Connaught Care Home

THREE-QUARTERS of a million pounds extra will be needed for Alderney's States to finish an extension to the island's Connaught Care Home.

Construction work at the Connaught Care Home's extension. (Picture by David Nash, 29869152)
Construction work at the Connaught Care Home's extension. (Picture by David Nash, 29869152)

At an emergency meeting yesterday, the General Services Committee rejected options including halting the building work, or using alternative materials for the build, in favour of trying to find the extra cash needed to finish the job.

The pandemic, Brexit and the recent ‘pingdemic’ have been blamed for the scarcity of materials and sky-rocketing building costs which have blown the budget for the extension to the facility.

General Services chairman Boyd Kelly said the committee agreed to ask Policy & Finance to call an immediate, special meeting of the full States to discuss the necessary extra funding.

‘If we don’t have the States meeting now it will be the October States meeting before the urgent issue is discussed.

‘It just cannot wait any longer,’ he said.

‘The Connaught is already full and the need for the extra beds is immediate.

‘I am hopefully confident we will be able to get these meetings done by the end of next week and my colleagues will support the need for the extra funds.’

The final phase of the project was due to start March 2020 to build 13 new residential rooms as well as ancillary rooms but it was delayed by lockdown.

In the interim the cost of materials including timber, steel, cement and roof tiles have ballooned.

Connaught care home operations manager Liz Bowskill said the care home currently houses 41 residents and the extra 13 rooms would be quickly filled.

‘The extension is vitally important as we are not just a care home, we also give domiciliary care and offer day care.

‘There are rooms in the new part of the building that will help us in our goals to keep people in their own homes for as long as possible as well as offering spaces for residents.

‘To put it in perspective, in the UK the number of people over 65 is around 30 per 100 working people.

‘In Alderney that figure is 70 people over 65, so we definitely need the extra room.’

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