COUNCILLORS in West Lothian will be forced to state their position on a bid to privatise local care homes in the area as a row over the plans deepens.

The plans by West Lothian's Integration Joint Board’s (IJB) would also see all care-at-home services in the area privatised.

The bid has caused outrage amongst the local community and trade unions The GMB, Unite and Unison, who represent social care staff working in the area.

READ MORE: GB News host Neil Oliver shares image showing Bill Gates as a Nazi

West Lothian is a Labour minority administration, supported by a loose coalition of support from Tory councillors, one LibDem and one independent. 

Stuart Borrowman, an independent councillor for the Armadale and Blackridge ward, submitted a motion ahead of the next full council on May 30, after he attended a packed public meeting where around 300 people protested the plans.

The meeting angrily rejected the IJB's proposals, which would affect six care homes, and called for the services to be kept in the public sector.

Due to budget cuts the IJB is considering the closure or privatisation of Deans House in Deans, Craigmair in Craigshill, Whitdale in Whitburn, Limecroft in Dedridge, Burngrange in West Calder, and Burnside in Uphall, as well as the end to council provided at-home care, with jobs transferred to the private sector.

The National: A packed public meeting saw residents reject the IJB's plansA packed public meeting saw residents reject the IJB's plans (Image: Supplied)

The plans could see around 150 older people and 20 young adults with learning disabilities losing their homes and hundreds of social care jobs lost or privatised.

Borrowman’s motion states that the councillor is “alarmed” by concerns around risks to quality of care, staff training and staff terms and conditions after the IJB published its proposals.

If passed, the motion states that West Lothian Council should instruct its chief executive Graham Hope to write to the IJB and call on them to “withdraw its proposals for privatisation of these services”.

It adds that the IJB should be told to consider “more appropriate solutions” to its budget pressures, such as requesting funding from the Scottish Government, and that they must publish a “comparative assessment” of the level of care for older residents provided by the public, voluntary and private sector.

It additionally said the chief executive should urge the Scottish Government to abandon the push for a National Care Service (NCS) and ask them to “properly” fund local authority care services.

READ MORE: SNP demand 'draconian' anti-protest legislation is scrapped

West Lothian's joint trade unions GMB, Unite and Unison, who represent social care staff, are organising a major demonstration for the day of the council meeting.

'Stuart Borrowman's motion will allow West Lothian voters to see exactly what their elected representatives think of the appalling plans to privatise essential social care services,” a spokesperson for the unions said.

“Councillors will have to state their position in public, there is now no hiding place - we will be watching their actions very closely.

“I hope and trust they will acquire a backbone and do the right thing and tell the IJB to think again.”

The older population - aged over 65 - in West Lothian is set to rise by nearly a third between 2018 and 2028, while over the next 25 years the area will also have the fastest growth in population of those at pension age in Scotland with an increase of 44%, twice the Scottish average.

West Lothian Council has been contacted for comment.