Home help service boss voices concern over extra costs caused by Tour de France

THE boss of a home help service for more than 100 elderly people fears the Grand Depart could be costly for his business.

Nigel Billson, managing director of Elmar Home Care on Silsden, believes small businesses in the affected areas should be compensated for any extra staffing costs and disruption on both days of the race.

His 33 staff look after bed-ridden and infirm old folk in Silsden, Skipton, Addingham Keighley and Haworth – many of whom need four visits a day for sanitary and other care.

Due to road closures both days, he is planning to hire a caravan so some staff can stay in Silsden overnight.

"Putting a caravan on someone's driveway is something we're having to consider and we will have to pay staff extra," Mr Billson said.

"We’re putting in hundreds of hours in extra administration, emergency planning meetings, completing extra risk assessments etc.

"Plus there's the extra man hours over the two days to ensure that our vulnerable service users are safe, and we as a business will have to stand the extra costs."

Mr Billson said that no compensation was being offered by the Tour organisers and that ordinary businesses would suffer.

He said Bradford Council had been helpful in trying to rearrange home care service during the Grand Depart weekend.

"The council have tried their best and I'm not trying to be a party-pooper, but the only people who are benefitting from all this are tourist businesses," he added.

"It is grossly unfair for a business like ours already running on tight margins due to government budgets to stand these extra costs."

A Bradford Council spokesman said: "The council has been working with care providers to ensure vulnerable residents are cared for over the Tour de France weekend.

"Your care provider will let you know of any changes to your usual arrangements.

"If they have not done so, and you expect visits over the weekend, do ask them as soon as possible."

Council leader Coun David Green said: "We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our residents but we hope they will understand these road closures are necessary to ensure the world’s largest annual sporting event passes through our district safely and that everyone enjoys this amazing spectacle."

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