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Trust has ‘ignored’ talks to keep complex open

Monday 10th January 2011 (Andrew Griffiths)

THE OWNER of a closure-threatened Burton retirement complex has been accused of ignoring the advances of a care provider which could help it remain open.

Peverel Retirement, a Hampshire-based firm which manages properties across the UK, claims it has attempted to contact Anchor Trust on numerous occasions over the future of Elizabeth Court, but had received no response.

The revelation came to light in a letter sent by Lorraine Collis, Peverel’s commercial business and development manager, to Burton MP Andrew Griffiths.

In the letter, Ms Collis says: “As the largest retirement property management company in the UK we have recently tried contacting Anchor Trust on several occasions to offer our services to help keep Elizabeth Court open.

“Regrettably, the trust has not replied to our calls or correspondence.”

Ms Collis said her company had a ‘proven track record’ in taking over existing retirement properties and would guarantee that all existing staff would be retained on the same terms and conditions.

Mr Griffiths, who intends to set up a meeting between staff from both firms, said Anchor’s failure to respond to Peverel’s overtures was ‘completely unacceptable’.

He told the Mail: “Once again, Anchor is ignoring the needs and concerns of residents of Elizabeth Court and they are not exploring all options available to them.

“Clearly, we don’t know what kind of offer this company is willing to make — but on the other hand neither does Anchor.

“It is completely unacceptable that Anchor has chosen to ignore the interest from a company which could keep Elizabeth Court open.

“It seems to me that Anchor has a secret plan to close Elizabeth Court and sell it to the highest bidder, regardless of interest from other housing firms and the needs of the vulnerable and elderly residents.”

An Anchor spokesman said: “We are currently marketing Elizabeth Court and will speak with anyone who expresses a serious interest in acquiring the scheme.

“We would welcome a conversation with Ms Collis about any proposal she may have.

“We are continuing to work with our customers to help them find new homes that are right for them.”

Anchor has set a closing date of Friday, January 28, for offers on the complex in Brough Road, Winshill, but the Mail understands that the majority of tenants are still refusing to move.

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