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Outcry after planning application agent says carers ‘too poor to drive to work’

Carer

A care home planning application has brought poor social care pay under the spotlight after an agent said carers could not afford to drive to work.

The comments came during a planning committee hearing at Wyre Council for a proposal for a four-story, 44-bed nursing home in Cleveleys.

When asked if the provision of five parking spaces would be adequate at the site, Paul Sedgwick, who was acting on behalf of the applicant, Movern Care Centre, said it would not be a problem because carers were poorly paid and would rely on public transport, according to the Blackpool Gazette.

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A Unison spokesman called the comments “outrageous” and reflected the “low regard in which care workers are held”.

Councillor Cheryl Raynor, who supported the rejection of the plans on the grounds of its height, scale and mass, and its potential adverse effects on neighbours, said: “I was really shocked that this was presented as a positive thing.”

Mr Sedgwick told CHP his comments had been “used to make political points about the provision of care”, adding he could not engage in political discussion on the eve of a national election.

A spokesperson for Movern Care Centre said: “We condemn the planning consultant’s comments and have decided to terminate his engagement on this assignment as this is shocking and not known to us.

“We think five parking spaces are sufficient because we already have 10 spaces at the existing care home and these five would be additional parking spots. Also there is ample free parking in the area and the location is in a very close proximity of bus and tram services.

“We highly believe in investing in staff and we have been doing from last 10 years.”

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The author Lee Peart

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