Posted: Sun 25th Jun 2023

£1m children’s homes conversion ‘about to enter phase two’ /
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Jun 25th, 2023

WORK is progressing on a £1 million conversion of two properties in Tredegar into children’s care homes, senior councillors have been told.
And, to keep residents abreast of the developments, a liaison group has been set up and held its first meeting earlier this week.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, June 7, councillors were given an update on the scheme.
The update came as the Cabinet were discussing the council’s finance and performance report for 2022/2023, which notes the achievements and problems of the past year and looks ahead to the future.
The report explained that one of the “key achievements” for the council during the last year was to buy two residential properties that would be converted into care homes for children with “more complex needs.”
The report explained that is that the scheme will save the council money by bringing “the children back closer to home.”
Cabinet member for social services Cllr Haydn Trollope asked that he and his colleagues receive an update on the project.
Head of children’s services, Alison Ramshaw said: “Members will be aware that we have purchased the two homes on Picton Road, which is in the Dukestown area of Tredegar.
“We are about to enter phase two, which is the refurbishment part of the development.
Ms Ramshaw told councillors that she had met the architect and also social services regulators Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW) to discuss the reconfiguration of the first house into a four-bedroom residential care home for children.
Ms Ramshaw said: “Those plans have been drawn up.
“I’m really excited by the layout, it’s an excellent use of the property and we are waiting now for the Welsh Government to approve those plans.
“We’ll be in a position then to enter into our tender and procurement phase.”
Back in March plans to convert the two detached houses were approved by the Blaenau Gwent Planning Committee.
During the planning process the council had received several objections from neighbours who raised fears of anti-social behaviour from the children who will eventually live there.
Ms Ramshaw said that on Tuesday, June 6, the council had held a “first meeting” with the residents of Picton Road.
Ms Ramshaw said: “We had agreed to set up a regular residents forum or committee.”
She would be part of the committee along with the council’s presiding member, Cllr Chris Smith.
Ms Ramshaw said: “Four residents were put forward to be part of the ongoing group and we agreed the remit.”
Ms Ramshaw stressed the committee is not a “decision making” body.
“It’s more of an information exchange so that the residents feel they are properly engaged in every step of the development,” said Ms Ramshaw.
From September onwards it is expected that the group will meet monthly.
Council leader Cllr Steve Thomas said: “It’s really good to see us working with the public to get the message out.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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