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Brent Council deny claims they are bidding to grab charity donations made to war veteran, 96

PUBLISHED: 11:29 15 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:11 15 June 2015

Robert Clark needs around-the-clock care (Pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Robert Clark needs around-the-clock care (Pic credit: Jan Nevill)

Archant

Brent Council have strongly denied claims that they have requested a 96-year-old war hero hand over public donations made to pay for his care costs to them.

Robert Clark in 1940Robert Clark in 1940

Robbie Clark, one of the country’s oldest World War II veterans, touched the nation’s heart after we revealed he faced being forced into a care home because Brent Council refused to meet the weekly £960 cost of a 24-hour carer at his home in Burnt Oak.

Since then £21,000 in donations have poured in through war veteran charity Help For Heroes and an online petition website, change.org.

However Mr Clark’s son had accused the council of asking that the donations go to them to pay off a debt incurred for his care costs – a bill he strongly disputes.

A letter sent to the family by Helen Duncan-Turnbull, head of support planning and review, contained information relating to charity donations that angered the family.

Robbie Clarke, war veteran, brings petition to Brent Council with Phil Porter director of adult social servicesRobbie Clarke, war veteran, brings petition to Brent Council with Phil Porter director of adult social services

Ms Duncan-Turnbull has since issued an apology for any misunderstanding that arose from the letter.

A Brent Council spokesman has told the Times that the council never had any intention of asking for charity funds paid to Mr Clark to be paid to them.

Phil Porter, director of adult social care at Brent Council, said: “We want to be completely clear that we have absolutely no intention of asking Robbie Clark for any of the charitable donations he has received, to be paid to the council.

“The letter sent to Mr Clark’s advocate, which was reported in the article in the Brent and Kilburn Times was referring to an amount in Robbie Clark’s financial assessment that was interpreted as a financial donation we believed he was planning to make rather than receive.

“We have apologised for any confusion as we now understand this is money he had received from a charity.

“We are working to ensure that Robbie Clark can stay in his home and receive the care package he wants. We have made an offer to ensure this happens which involves a deferred payment option, which means we will only recoup the money for the extra care, over and above that which he is entitled to, when his house is eventually sold.

“Robbie can stay in his own home and taxpayers get a deal which is affordable and fair to all.”

Mike Clark said: “The council know that it is my father’s wish to remain at home for the rest of his life, though have been unwilling to contribute to the cost of his live in care at home or recognise the expenditure that Robbie has made towards these costs over the past three years.

“Brent Council are continuing to take a tough stance with my father, who simply wants to stay at home, supported with the round the clock care and attention of his carer to meet his 24/7 care and nursing needs.”

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