A DECISION on whether to sell East Renfrewshire's only council care home to a private operator has been deferred until the summer.

Relatives of residents in Bonnyton House in Busby had been warned they would be told yesterday about the future of the residental home for elderly people.

But council bosses have decided to put off a decision pending a report from auditors KPMG.

Staff at the home found out about the decision on the Internet - two hours before a scheduled meeting with social work boss Frank White.

One employee, who asked not to be named, said: "Staff were told in October last year that we would get a decision on Thursday about what was going to happen to Bonnyton care home.

"A meeting was held in the council offices at 10am and they put the decision online before our meeting with Mr White. Families hadn't been told which was absolutely shocking.

"The council is saying it hasn't arrived at a decision as yet and is still looking at the figures but staff believe they are holding back because of the General Election.

"Bonnyton has been a residential home for nearly 60 years but they want to sell it and put it into private hands.

"Some of the residents have lived at Bonnyton for almost 15 years and are vulnerable people. They have served in the war and the way they are being treated is absolutely appalling.

"We don't want it to fall into private hands because they are money making businesses and the residents will not get the care they do at the moment.

"We are like a big family and have a great rapport with the residents' families. The care is second to none."

As well as being home to 28 residents, Bonnyton offers day care services for up to 200 people and respite care.

Recently, almost 2000 people signed a petition urging the council not to sell it to a private operator.

The council says the home is not cost effective compared to other local providers with comparable or better ratings.

Bonnyton was awarded three good ratings and a very good by care watchdogs in their last report.

A council spokesman said: "KPMG is independently scrutinising two alternative proposals for Bonnyton which came out of our consultations with local people. This needs to be completed before we can make a final decision."