Kirklees Council is set to close two long-term residential care homes for older people with dementia, putting 128 jobs at risk.

The closures of Castle Grange in Newsome and Claremont House in Heckmondwike are part of the council’s plans to make savings of £47.8 million.

A report to the council’s Cabinet next week says each home has a capacity of 40 beds but there are only 46 residents across both homes.

The two homes cost just short of £5 million a year to run. If the council paid for 70 places in privately-run homes the cost would be £3.1 million – a saving of £1.8 million.

The two homes need around £550,000 spending on them – and could raise up to £8 million if they are sold off.

If agreed by Cabinet, a 12-week consultation process will be launched with staff and the public. A final decision could be made in January 2024.

The report says staff could be re-deployed to reduce the use of agency staff in other council care services or there would be a boost to the independent care sector where several homes have vacancies.

The council says talks with service users, staff and trade unions are already underway.

Clr Jackie Ramsay, Cabinet member for health and social care, said: “There has been a lack of sustainable, long-term funding for social care from Government which means, like other councils, we are now having to make some tough decisions.

“We need to look at how residents can access the care they need in alternative settings without comprising safety and quality of care.

“By working with colleagues in the independent care sector, we would fully support care home residents and their families for a safe transition to accommodation that meets their needs and allows them to continue to live well.”

Clr Ramsay said adult social care was “chronically under-funded” and added: “In this case we can see that even if both care homes were full they would still cost the council significantly more than it would for us to provide funding for these residents in the independent sector.

“Whilst it is a very difficult decision there is no choice in this challenging financial environment but to approve this report.”