A ‘SIGNIFICANT’ investment will improve the ‘quality of life’ for the most vulnerable across the county, councillors heard.

Members of Flintshire Cabinet discussed the planned expansion of Marleyfield House in Buckley and were asked to approve the budget scheme – which saw an increase from £7.6million to £8.62million.

A report to cabinet on April 2 outlined that some of the reasons for the increase included increase costs for construction materials and an increase in area of the building to accommodate amenities and facilities.

At the Cabinet meeting, Cllr Glyn Banks said this increase was ‘unavoidable’, but the facility will be ‘absolutely marvellous’ and is ‘what Flintshire is all about’.

Cllr Christine Jones added that the original price was an estimate, so the facility has ‘not gone over budget’.

She added: “It’s all about a wonderful facility, we’ve got money from different partners it’s not about how much it’s costing, it’s about what we are providing.

“The homes we’ve got are excellent, but this will increase tenfold. I wish people would sing our praises for a change about what we are doing in Flintshire instead of constantly criticising for little things that are happening.

“It was estimated costs anyway, I don’t know why the press have to do this to us sometimes, but they do. This is all about the quality not all about the money.”

Marleyfield House is a council residential home in Buckley. The scheme will see an increase existing capacity by an additional thirty two beds therefore providing accommodation to support sixty four people in total.

The design demonstrates an innovative approach to supporting individuals in residential settings. It offers increased usable communal outdoor space and accessibility to support the well-being of residents.

Each room with have personal outdoor space either through a balcony on the first floor or a patio on the ground.

Leader of the council, Cllr Ian Roberts said: “This shows the vision that we as a council have for services in our county dealing with some of the most vulnerable sections of our community. It is to be very welcomed.

“In 18 months, vulnerable sections of the community will be living there and we will have done something that’s right in my opinion for the people of Flintshire.”

Members heard how the county was the ‘first in Wales’ to provide a partnership approach for the vulnerable people of Flintshire.

Cllr Derek Butler said: “Flagship Flintshire is again leading the way in these parlour times where funding is really tight but we are showing to our people that we care for them and we are providing for them.”

Chief Executive Colin Everett said the budget increase was due to not wanting to go ‘below the threshold of quality’ and due to an increase from the estimated budget, a ‘positive scheme has turned to negative because it is seen to have over spent’.

He added: “We as a council are investing more in social services than any other council. It is all focused on needs and quality of life.

“We do this through choice but need as well. We took a risk on this and we have been very successful in getting national funding’.

Construction is hoped to start in April this year with a completion date of April 2021.