Would you care for one of these?
Hundreds of companies and charities have been asked if they would be interested in buying the city council's elderly care homes, should they go on the market.
Council officers approached 350 organisations to see if they would be interested in buying the eight care homes, a report has revealed.
Of the 32 that responded, eight were chosen to meet the council – five companies, one public sector group and two charities. All but one are based in Leicester.
The groups said that, should they go on the market, they would be interested in buying between two and four of the bigger homes.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The report, by council director Tracie Rees, said: "Although the level of interest was low, this exercise identified there is an interest in the market for some of the homes, at the same time indicating it is very unlikely we would be able to sell all of them.
"If the council was to advertise an opportunity to take over the homes on a freehold basis, a reasonable estimate is that between two and four homes could be disposed of as going concerns.
"This would depend on the commercial terms and the level of ongoing support from the council."
The report said there was one home, which has not been named, that none of the potential buyers were interested in.
The homes are Arbor House, Evington; Preston Lodge, off Humberstone Road; Herrick Lodge, Belgrave; Nuffield House, Western Park; Thurn Court, Thurnby Lodge; Cooper House, Eyres Monsell; Abbey House, off Groby Road, and Elizabeth House, New Parks.
They care for 134 residents.
The council planned to shut six of the homes as part of its budget in February last year, but the plan was shelved amid fierce opposition.
In January, the authority revived its plans to shut most of the homes and convert some into short-term care centres.
A month later, in a last- minute change to the budget, the council said it would delay its decision for a further two years, continuing to fund them in the meantime.
Officers began approaching organisations in February.
The report on their findings goes before its adult social care and housing scrutiny committee on Thursday.
Assistant city mayor responsible for adult social care and housing, Councillor Mohammed Dawood, said no decision had been made.
"The information from this soft market testing will now be fed into the decision-making process," he said.
"Because this is such an important issue, our adult social care and housing scrutiny committee want to look at the findings from the exercise."
Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland chief executive Tony Donovan welcomed the report.
"We are pleased the council has taken the views of the public and carers and people in homes seriously," he said.
"This whole thing has gone on a long time, but I think that would indicate that the council is keen to get it right.
"I am not surprised they have seen that only between two and four would be viable.
"Fewer people are going into care homes because they are getting care in the community, and if these homes have a low occupancy rate, they will not be as attractive to investors."