A CARE home near Elmley Castle that has saved from closure has come under fire from a concerned villager after a freedom on information request.

Evesham Journal reported in February 2017 that resident had raised objections to Worcestershire County Council's purchase of The Riddings in Bicklehampton.

The large, detached house, which the authority chose due to its therapeutic setting in a rural community, was later opened for three vulnerable children, along with a manager and staff team.

But residents of Bricklehampton and the neighbouring village of Elmley Castle, have continually objected to the council using the house for this purpose.

When the home came under threat, after Worcestershire County Council placed it on a list on ones that could close as the authority aimed to make a £1 million saving.

Last week the Journal reported The Riddings was not on the list to close, the authority instead chosing to close Old Hollow, Rivendell, Downsell Road, Orchardene, while a home in Tenbury had already closed.

One of the concerned residents, James Hickman, of Elmley Castle, recently put in a freedom of information request on the costs of the home.

It found the council spent £519,500 buying the building, including £29,500 of costs

The cost of renovations was £156,667 – with the additional costs of running the property were £69,170.

Mr Hickman said “In return for this investment of taxpayers money, the home has provided 70 days of child care.

"During the 70 days of child care there have been six reports of anti-social behaviour and the police attend the property on average once every 11 days.

“It costs the taxpayer £988 per day to house a child at the Riddings, by way of comparison a room at the Ritz costs £475.”

“The £29,500 in purchase costs and the £156,667 spent modifying the property will not be recovered, bringing the total cost to the taxpayer for those 70 days to £255,337 or £3,647,67 per day.”

Councillor Andy Roberts, cabinet member with responsibility for children and families, said: "The Riddings has been designed to provide three places for vulnerable children.

"It has been renovated and registered with Ofsted and will be fully operational after Christmas, providing high quality care for those who need it."