‘Institutional’ Notts children’s home to close permanently as councillors vote in favour of plans

A Nottinghamshire children’s home will close for good after councillors said it was ‘not fit for purpose’.

Minster View in Southwell shut in 2020 amid concerns around safety and staffing issues.

At the time, Nottinghamshire Council said there were ‘no proposals to permanently close’ the home, but a vote has now decided the home will be closed permanently after all – although some councillors voiced concerns at the children and young people’s committee meeting and asked for more clarity on the issue.

Of the five children who lived at Minster View, on Normanton Road, in November 2020, four were relocated to private homes and one was placed in another council-run home.

Minster View children's view in Southwell.

Coun Michelle Welsh said: “You want us to vote for something where we don’t necessarily know how you’re going to deliver the care for those children once this is closed.

“I feel there is not enough information in this report. It is vitally important given the history that we are open about what happens in our care homes.

“I feel uncomfortable in voting for this.”

It comes after reports show almost £1.7 million was spent on keeping Minster View closed during the last 12 months by sending the children to private placements instead.

But officers and councillors who backed the plans said the home had an ‘institutional feel’ and was ‘not fit for purpose’.

The council instead wants to close the home and open its own, smaller home in the county.

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Concern

Coun Keith Girling said: “Our primary concern is to ensure these children are safe.

“I wouldn’t want my disabled child to be in that facility no matter how good the service is.”

Coun Sinead Anderson, member for Mansfield West, said: “It was the view at the time it would’ve been unsafe to keep the home open.

“This was a difficult decision to make and sadly resulted in five children being transitioned into alternative homes.

“The current building has an institutional feel, at odds with the homely atmosphere children should experience.”

Steve Edwards, service director for youth, families and social work, said: “It wasn’t a decision made lightly. I feel sorry for those children who had to move.

“Moving forward there is a chance for those children and future children to have better support from the council.”

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