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campaigners in Sandwich renew plea for Kent County Council to retain Wayfarers care home

By Eleanor Perkins

Community groups have made an impassioned plea to save a care home from being sold off.

The call comes as Kent County Council is considering bids for Wayfarers in Sandwich.

The decision to sell the care home as a going concern was made by cabinet member for adult social care and public health Graham Gibbens in January 2016.

Wayfarers in Sandwich has been sold by KCC
Wayfarers in Sandwich has been sold by KCC

But privatisation has always faced strong opposition from residents and community groups including the Friends of Wayfarers.

Friends’ chairman Dick Perry says their feelings still stand

He said: “Our message to Kent County Council is ‘Don’t sell. Look after it, do your job and don’t run away’.

He continued: “We feel that the care of the elderly should be a responsibility of the local authority, in this case Kent County Council. It’s wrong for them to be running away from their responsibility.”

The sale was set to take place within a year but only now is the authority reviewing bids.

A KCC spokesperson said: “In line with the decision to sell Wayfarers as a going concern, the home was placed on the market in January.

“Bids have now been received and are being evaluated to make sure that the new provider is able to fulfil the commitments to residents and staff.

Wayfarers, in St Bart’s Road, has 13 full-time residents and offers more than 30 beds for day and respite care. It employs about 50 staff.

Mr Perry, a former councillor, added: “Wayfarers is the one and only home in Sandwich. It’s vital that they make it available

“They should be looking after it and not passing it on to somebody else.”
It is understood the sale will be finalised by the end of the year.

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