'Council is to blame' for Horwich care home closure, say owners

Vale House is set to close on March 4

Vale House is set to close on March 4

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A CARE home is to close because Bolton Council did not allow it to redevelop the premises, according to the owners.

Vale House Residential Home in Vale Avenue, Horwich, wrote to staff and relatives of residents on January 20, telling them of the planned closure in March.

Owners Legacy Care Group, which also runs care facilities in Manchester, Nelson and Halifax, is understood to be opening a replacement home in the Blackburn area.

Staff members and family are annoyed that more time was not given to find alternative accommodation for the 15 elderly residents, many of whom have dementia.

In 2011, Vale House applied for permission to build a new 41-bed facility in place of the existing care home, but Bolton Council rejected the initial application and an independent planning inspector turned down a subsequent appeal.

Horwich town councillors also recommended the plan be refused, citing concerns over the building’s size, parking provision and the loss of a 19th century building.

A Vale House spokesman said: “The home will be closing on March 4. It is simply no longer a profitable enterprise, with Bolton Council having refused us permission to extend the home and upgrade facilities.”

A staff member, who asked not to be named, said: “If the owner had been able to build the home up he probably would have stayed. A few jobs in Bolton have been lost because of this.

“It came completely out of the blue. We have been here a long time.

“It is very upsetting for the residents. One or two of them are not in the best of health at all, so this will be a huge upheaval for them.”

The daughter of a resident, who also asked not to be named, said: “We feel very shocked that it is closing so soon.

“There are not that many care homes in Bolton, so it will be tough for us and we’ve not got long to find somewhere else.”

The Vale House building is now up for sale.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “The council received 45 letters of objection and a petition against the plans and the planning committee refused the application.

“The home appealed and in 2012 an independent planning inspector looked at it again and upheld the original decision.”

Comments (9)

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11:09am Wed 5 Feb 14

Iluminati says...

Lots of blame pointing, lots of half truth and lots of hearsay. Who do we believe ? We'll never know because the innocent elderly who suffer another blow in their llfe won't have a say in all of this. Suffer the elderly !
Lots of blame pointing, lots of half truth and lots of hearsay. Who do we believe ? We'll never know because the innocent elderly who suffer another blow in their llfe won't have a say in all of this. Suffer the elderly ! Iluminati
  • Score: 13

11:19am Wed 5 Feb 14

Brumas says...

The council may well be to blame for the closure of Vale House Residential Home in Vale Avenue, Horwich, but not for the reasons stated in this story.
Rightly so the owners consider Vale house not fit for purpose, but nor was the proposed application acceptable. The council (Bolton MBC) are guilty Guilty of being insular and not forward looking, this would have been an ideal opportunity to kill several birds with one stone. But no, they are incapable of thinking outside the box and working with prospective partners when the opportunity arises.
Horwich is currently short of the promised Health centre and a long term, viable Market site, which was the case when the application was submitted. How much better things could have been all-round if Bolton MBC had they grasped the opportunity to work in partnership with the Legacy Care Group and build a Health Centre and Market place with the nursing home above, on the footprint of the old Horwich Market.
Yet again a wasted opportunity for short term gain by selling the Market site for housing, where, if we ever get it will the Health Centre be built?
The council may well be to blame for the closure of Vale House Residential Home in Vale Avenue, Horwich, but not for the reasons stated in this story. Rightly so the owners consider Vale house not fit for purpose, but nor was the proposed application acceptable. The council (Bolton MBC) are guilty Guilty of being insular and not forward looking, this would have been an ideal opportunity to kill several birds with one stone. But no, they are incapable of thinking outside the box and working with prospective partners when the opportunity arises. Horwich is currently short of the promised Health centre and a long term, viable Market site, which was the case when the application was submitted. How much better things could have been all-round if Bolton MBC had they grasped the opportunity to work in partnership with the Legacy Care Group and build a Health Centre and Market place with the nursing home above, on the footprint of the old Horwich Market. Yet again a wasted opportunity for short term gain by selling the Market site for housing, where, if we ever get it will the Health Centre be built? Brumas
  • Score: 2

11:55am Wed 5 Feb 14

comment230 says...

Perhaps the Council should take over the running of the home. Care shouldn't need a profit motive.
Perhaps the Council should take over the running of the home. Care shouldn't need a profit motive. comment230
  • Score: 15

12:29pm Wed 5 Feb 14

filthy6 says...

Brumas wrote:
The council may well be to blame for the closure of Vale House Residential Home in Vale Avenue, Horwich, but not for the reasons stated in this story. Rightly so the owners consider Vale house not fit for purpose, but nor was the proposed application acceptable. The council (Bolton MBC) are guilty Guilty of being insular and not forward looking, this would have been an ideal opportunity to kill several birds with one stone. But no, they are incapable of thinking outside the box and working with prospective partners when the opportunity arises. Horwich is currently short of the promised Health centre and a long term, viable Market site, which was the case when the application was submitted. How much better things could have been all-round if Bolton MBC had they grasped the opportunity to work in partnership with the Legacy Care Group and build a Health Centre and Market place with the nursing home above, on the footprint of the old Horwich Market. Yet again a wasted opportunity for short term gain by selling the Market site for housing, where, if we ever get it will the Health Centre be built?
& all this affects the rejection of the redevelopment proposal, or a you suggesting that they should build the health centre & market on the site?
[quote][p][bold]Brumas[/bold] wrote: The council may well be to blame for the closure of Vale House Residential Home in Vale Avenue, Horwich, but not for the reasons stated in this story. Rightly so the owners consider Vale house not fit for purpose, but nor was the proposed application acceptable. The council (Bolton MBC) are guilty Guilty of being insular and not forward looking, this would have been an ideal opportunity to kill several birds with one stone. But no, they are incapable of thinking outside the box and working with prospective partners when the opportunity arises. Horwich is currently short of the promised Health centre and a long term, viable Market site, which was the case when the application was submitted. How much better things could have been all-round if Bolton MBC had they grasped the opportunity to work in partnership with the Legacy Care Group and build a Health Centre and Market place with the nursing home above, on the footprint of the old Horwich Market. Yet again a wasted opportunity for short term gain by selling the Market site for housing, where, if we ever get it will the Health Centre be built?[/p][/quote]& all this affects the rejection of the redevelopment proposal, or a you suggesting that they should build the health centre & market on the site? filthy6
  • Score: 4

1:56pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Puffin-Billy says...

Care home closes .............

because profit is more important to private care home owners than people.

That is the price of privatisation.

That will be the price of privatisation of every aspect of the NHs.


Private Health Companies are ripping off the Taxpayer.

They are masquerading as NHS organisations, by using the NHS logo on their websites, premises and correspondence.

http://www.keepournh
spublic.com/pdf/data
-opt-out.pdf

http://www.hsj.co.uk
/news/primary-care/n
hs-england-working-w
ith-gp-firm-over-mer
seyside-practice-con
cerns/5062905.articl
e#.UvD2cbRn1qE

http://www.labournet
.net/ukunion/1211/SS
PHealth.pdf

The following is a list of so-called “NHS Practices”, which are in fact branches of a private business, SSP Health, which is using the NHS as a front .

Bolton

3D Medical Centre200 Deane Road

Bolton General PracticeMarsden Road

Bolton Medical Centre21 Rupert Street

Great Lever Practice21 Rupert Street

Chorley

Eaves Lane311 Eaves Lane

InceLower InceClaire House, Phoenix Way



LiverpoolBreeze Hill PracticeBreeze Hill Neighbourhood Health Centre

Crosby Village Surgery3, Little Crosby Road

Crossways Practice168 Liverpool Rd

Everton Road Health Centre45, Everton Road

iveways Family Health Centre215 Childwall Rd

Freshfield Surgery61, Gores Lane



Garston Family Health Centre32, Church Road



Hightown Village Surgery



Kensington Park Practice157 Edge Lane

Litherland PracticeHatton Hill Road



Maghull PracticeParkhaven Trust



Marybone Health CentreUnit 1&2



Mersey View and Walk-in Surgery45 Everton Road



Netherley Health CentreMiddlemass Hey

Netherton PracticeNetherton Health Centre



Orrell Park Medical CentreTrinity Church, Orrell Lane/Rice Lane

Park View Medical CentreOrphan Drive



Princes Park Health CentreBentley Road



Rawson Road136-138 Rawson Road



Robson Street PracticeMere Lane Neighbourhood Health Centre

Seaforth Village Surgery20, Seaforth Road



Stanley Road Medical Centre60,Stanley Road



Thornton PracticeThornton Family Health Clinic



West Speke Health CentreBlacklock Hall Road

Manchester

Astley General Practice391a Manchester Road, Astley

New Bank Health Centre339 Stockport Road



The Pike PracticeMarket Street Health Centre

Newton-le-Willows

Newton Cottage Practice1st Floor Newton Community Hospital Practice



Newton Medical Centre1 Belvedere Road

Salford

The Height General Practice355 Bolton Road

St. Helens

Bowery Medical CentreElephant Lane

Widnes

Upton Rocks SurgeryWidnes RUFC Car Park

Wigan

Ashton Medical Centre120 Wigan Road, Ashton In Makerfield

Braithwaite Road Surgery36 Braithwaite Road

Higher Ince PracticeInce Surgery, Ince Community Centre

Platt Bridge Medical Centre647 Liverpool Road

No wonder that Dr. Shikha Pitalia, Director of SSP Health and Chair of United League Commissioning, based in the North West is excited with government plans to so-called “modernise” the NHS.

It is organisations such as United League Commissioning which are behind the current hysteria concerning the necessity of reducing National Health Service hospital admissions.

Their private business is profitting from, and using using as a front, NHS facilities which are being deliberately under-funded and under-resourced to the tune of £20 billion, on the advice of consultants McKinsey.

The latest situation concerning a GP practice in Accrington, Lancashire is typical.

Despite the fact that Accrington’s Victoria Health Access Centre has an excellent reputation according to its patients: ( http://www.nhs.uk/Se
rvices/GP/Performanc
e/DefaultView.aspx?i
d=41630) East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (ELCCG) -which of course has absolutely no connection with United League Commissioning- has surprise surprise, launched a so-called “consultation” on primary care in Hyndburn, warning that “…financial pressures mean some services may have to be cut…”

And who will be hiding in the wings to come to the rescue?…that’s right, husband and wife team Drs. Shikha and Sanjay Pitalia of SSP Health.

It is because of people such as them that GPs are leaving the NHS.
Here is an article by one such GP.

“It’s been an amazing privilege working as a family doctor. I am trusted with the long-term care and health of sometimes four generations, and I have tried to help with their most intimate and complex problems, sometimes shared only with me. It’s the best job in medicine, and the NHS was the best place to practice.

So why am I retiring early? Because for several years I’ve fought the dismantling of the founding principles of Bevan’s NHS and on 1 April I lost. That was the day the main provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 came into effect. On Wednesday night, a last-gasp attempt in the House of Lords to annul the part pushing competitive tendering sadly failed.

The democratic and legal basis of the English NHS and the secretary of state’s duty to provide comprehensive health services have now gone, and the framework that allows for wholesale privatisation of the planning, organisation, supply, finance and distribution of our health care is now in place. Since 1948, we GPs have been our patient’s advocate, championing the care we judge is needed clinically.

Everyone necessary for that care co-operated for the good of the patient – they didn’t compete for the benefit of shareholders. Sadly, patients are now right to be suspicious of motives concerning decisions made about them, which until recently, almost uniquely in the world, have been purely in their best clinical interest. Most politicians understand little about general practice, have no idea about the importance of continuity of care and blame GPs for a rise in hospital work, even though this is a direct result of their policies.

I believe patient choice is an illusion as I am restricted in terms of where I can refer and what treatments I can use. GPs are now expected to collude with rationing, are sent incomprehensible financial spreadsheets telling us our “activity levels” are too high and in some areas are prevented from speaking out about this, despite the government’s weasel words about duty of candour after Mid Staffs. Practices are already being solicited by private companies touting for business, often connected to members of my own profession. But the lie that GPs are now in control of the money will soon be exposed. Most services are to go out to tender, which will paralyse decision-making.

Now your doctor, the hospital, your specialist or the employing company has a financial incentive built into the clinical decision-making – even whether or not you are seen at all. Your referral may be to a related company, with both profiting from your care – so was that operation, procedure or investigation really in your best clinical interest? Or you may be told a service is now no longer available. The jargon used is that “we are not commissioned for that”. But you can pay. The elephant in the consulting room is the ethical implication of private medicine. In my 30 years as an NHS GP, some of the most disastrously treated patients are those who elected for private care. Decisions were made about them for the wrong reasons, namely profit. Patients are rarely aware of this.

The politicians who drive this unnecessary revolution claim the NHS is not being privatised because it is still free at the point of use. This is duplicitous as the two are not connected. They are ignorant or dismissive of the founding principles of the NHS which include it being universal and comprehensive – both of which have gone. The NHS logo appears on all sorts of private company buildings and notepaper which is one reason patients haven’t noticed the change yet. Just leaving “free at the point of use” under an NHS kitemark doesn’t constitute a national health service. It’s now one small step to insurance companies picking up the bill (but obviously profiting from it) rather than the state. An Americanised system run by many US companies. The end of a “60-year-old mistake”, as Jeremy Hunt once co-authored.

I am proud to have been an NHS GP. I believe the way a society delivers its healthcare defines the values and nature of that society. In the US, healthcare is not primarily about looking after the nation’s health but a huge multi-company, money-making machine which makes some people extremely rich but neglects millions of its citizens. We are being dragged into that machine and I want no part in it.

The politicians responsible for this must live with their consciences, as it is the greatest failure of democracy in my lifetime.”
Care home closes ............. because profit is more important to private care home owners than people. That is the price of privatisation. That will be the price of privatisation of every aspect of the NHs. Private Health Companies are ripping off the Taxpayer. They are masquerading as NHS organisations, by using the NHS logo on their websites, premises and correspondence. http://www.keepournh spublic.com/pdf/data -opt-out.pdf http://www.hsj.co.uk /news/primary-care/n hs-england-working-w ith-gp-firm-over-mer seyside-practice-con cerns/5062905.articl e#.UvD2cbRn1qE http://www.labournet .net/ukunion/1211/SS PHealth.pdf The following is a list of so-called “NHS Practices”, which are in fact branches of a private business, SSP Health, which is using the NHS as a front . Bolton 3D Medical Centre200 Deane Road Bolton General PracticeMarsden Road Bolton Medical Centre21 Rupert Street Great Lever Practice21 Rupert Street Chorley Eaves Lane311 Eaves Lane InceLower InceClaire House, Phoenix Way LiverpoolBreeze Hill PracticeBreeze Hill Neighbourhood Health Centre Crosby Village Surgery3, Little Crosby Road Crossways Practice168 Liverpool Rd Everton Road Health Centre45, Everton Road iveways Family Health Centre215 Childwall Rd Freshfield Surgery61, Gores Lane Garston Family Health Centre32, Church Road Hightown Village Surgery Kensington Park Practice157 Edge Lane Litherland PracticeHatton Hill Road Maghull PracticeParkhaven Trust Marybone Health CentreUnit 1&2 Mersey View and Walk-in Surgery45 Everton Road Netherley Health CentreMiddlemass Hey Netherton PracticeNetherton Health Centre Orrell Park Medical CentreTrinity Church, Orrell Lane/Rice Lane Park View Medical CentreOrphan Drive Princes Park Health CentreBentley Road Rawson Road136-138 Rawson Road Robson Street PracticeMere Lane Neighbourhood Health Centre Seaforth Village Surgery20, Seaforth Road Stanley Road Medical Centre60,Stanley Road Thornton PracticeThornton Family Health Clinic West Speke Health CentreBlacklock Hall Road Manchester Astley General Practice391a Manchester Road, Astley New Bank Health Centre339 Stockport Road The Pike PracticeMarket Street Health Centre Newton-le-Willows Newton Cottage Practice1st Floor Newton Community Hospital Practice Newton Medical Centre1 Belvedere Road Salford The Height General Practice355 Bolton Road St. Helens Bowery Medical CentreElephant Lane Widnes Upton Rocks SurgeryWidnes RUFC Car Park Wigan Ashton Medical Centre120 Wigan Road, Ashton In Makerfield Braithwaite Road Surgery36 Braithwaite Road Higher Ince PracticeInce Surgery, Ince Community Centre Platt Bridge Medical Centre647 Liverpool Road No wonder that Dr. Shikha Pitalia, Director of SSP Health and Chair of United League Commissioning, based in the North West is excited with government plans to so-called “modernise” the NHS. It is organisations such as United League Commissioning which are behind the current hysteria concerning the necessity of reducing National Health Service hospital admissions. Their private business is profitting from, and using using as a front, NHS facilities which are being deliberately under-funded and under-resourced to the tune of £20 billion, on the advice of consultants McKinsey. The latest situation concerning a GP practice in Accrington, Lancashire is typical. Despite the fact that Accrington’s Victoria Health Access Centre has an excellent reputation according to its patients: ( http://www.nhs.uk/Se rvices/GP/Performanc e/DefaultView.aspx?i d=41630) East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (ELCCG) -which of course has absolutely no connection with United League Commissioning- has surprise surprise, launched a so-called “consultation” on primary care in Hyndburn, warning that “…financial pressures mean some services may have to be cut…” And who will be hiding in the wings to come to the rescue?…that’s right, husband and wife team Drs. Shikha and Sanjay Pitalia of SSP Health. It is because of people such as them that GPs are leaving the NHS. Here is an article by one such GP. “It’s been an amazing privilege working as a family doctor. I am trusted with the long-term care and health of sometimes four generations, and I have tried to help with their most intimate and complex problems, sometimes shared only with me. It’s the best job in medicine, and the NHS was the best place to practice. So why am I retiring early? Because for several years I’ve fought the dismantling of the founding principles of Bevan’s NHS and on 1 April I lost. That was the day the main provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 came into effect. On Wednesday night, a last-gasp attempt in the House of Lords to annul the part pushing competitive tendering sadly failed. The democratic and legal basis of the English NHS and the secretary of state’s duty to provide comprehensive health services have now gone, and the framework that allows for wholesale privatisation of the planning, organisation, supply, finance and distribution of our health care is now in place. Since 1948, we GPs have been our patient’s advocate, championing the care we judge is needed clinically. Everyone necessary for that care co-operated for the good of the patient – they didn’t compete for the benefit of shareholders. Sadly, patients are now right to be suspicious of motives concerning decisions made about them, which until recently, almost uniquely in the world, have been purely in their best clinical interest. Most politicians understand little about general practice, have no idea about the importance of continuity of care and blame GPs for a rise in hospital work, even though this is a direct result of their policies. I believe patient choice is an illusion as I am restricted in terms of where I can refer and what treatments I can use. GPs are now expected to collude with rationing, are sent incomprehensible financial spreadsheets telling us our “activity levels” are too high and in some areas are prevented from speaking out about this, despite the government’s weasel words about duty of candour after Mid Staffs. Practices are already being solicited by private companies touting for business, often connected to members of my own profession. But the lie that GPs are now in control of the money will soon be exposed. Most services are to go out to tender, which will paralyse decision-making. Now your doctor, the hospital, your specialist or the employing company has a financial incentive built into the clinical decision-making – even whether or not you are seen at all. Your referral may be to a related company, with both profiting from your care – so was that operation, procedure or investigation really in your best clinical interest? Or you may be told a service is now no longer available. The jargon used is that “we are not commissioned for that”. But you can pay. The elephant in the consulting room is the ethical implication of private medicine. In my 30 years as an NHS GP, some of the most disastrously treated patients are those who elected for private care. Decisions were made about them for the wrong reasons, namely profit. Patients are rarely aware of this. The politicians who drive this unnecessary revolution claim the NHS is not being privatised because it is still free at the point of use. This is duplicitous as the two are not connected. They are ignorant or dismissive of the founding principles of the NHS which include it being universal and comprehensive – both of which have gone. The NHS logo appears on all sorts of private company buildings and notepaper which is one reason patients haven’t noticed the change yet. Just leaving “free at the point of use” under an NHS kitemark doesn’t constitute a national health service. It’s now one small step to insurance companies picking up the bill (but obviously profiting from it) rather than the state. An Americanised system run by many US companies. The end of a “60-year-old mistake”, as Jeremy Hunt once co-authored. I am proud to have been an NHS GP. I believe the way a society delivers its healthcare defines the values and nature of that society. In the US, healthcare is not primarily about looking after the nation’s health but a huge multi-company, money-making machine which makes some people extremely rich but neglects millions of its citizens. We are being dragged into that machine and I want no part in it. The politicians responsible for this must live with their consciences, as it is the greatest failure of democracy in my lifetime.” Puffin-Billy
  • Score: 9

3:01pm Wed 5 Feb 14

cliff4treasurer says...

This person who wrote this deserves a medal, I am no left wing socialist but believe health is not about profit and the names of the people he mentions here tell it's own story. This country which was once made up of great public services is now no more sadly .profit is king not people every major public service has been sacrificed to the millionaires to become richer and successive governments are to blame and the fact that the last pretend socialist leader has achieved his ambition and is now a multi millionaire again tells a story. This and past governments have continuously told us it's all being done for efficiency, it's being done for profit full stop and the best bit is you keep voting for it, guess who will be the ones to suffer when the doctors mentioned and there ilk have full control?
This person who wrote this deserves a medal, I am no left wing socialist but believe health is not about profit and the names of the people he mentions here tell it's own story. This country which was once made up of great public services is now no more sadly .profit is king not people every major public service has been sacrificed to the millionaires to become richer and successive governments are to blame and the fact that the last pretend socialist leader has achieved his ambition and is now a multi millionaire again tells a story. This and past governments have continuously told us it's all being done for efficiency, it's being done for profit full stop and the best bit is you keep voting for it, guess who will be the ones to suffer when the doctors mentioned and there ilk have full control? cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 8

7:04pm Wed 5 Feb 14

aardwolf says...

It isn't just the council to blame, although their conduct in this case is of course as shameful as ever. It is also a couple of local residents who objected on totally spurious grounds and, almost unbelievably, ended up with the ear of the council.
This property will now inevitably be demolished and housing put in its place. Far, far more parking issues will be created. Those silly, spiteful objectors will get what they so richly deserve.
It isn't just the council to blame, although their conduct in this case is of course as shameful as ever. It is also a couple of local residents who objected on totally spurious grounds and, almost unbelievably, ended up with the ear of the council. This property will now inevitably be demolished and housing put in its place. Far, far more parking issues will be created. Those silly, spiteful objectors will get what they so richly deserve. aardwolf
  • Score: 3

8:50am Thu 6 Feb 14

Molly24 says...

One of the reasons the plans were dismissed in the first place was because local people, Horwich Heritage and the council felt that the building was of significant importance to the people of Horwich.
If this building is now demolished to make way for more housing then this would be a terrible injustice to the residents many of who have been living there for many years and the staff, who are losing their jobs my heart goes out to them all and I wish them all well.
I hope the local residents are happy with whatever replaces Vale House.
One of the reasons the plans were dismissed in the first place was because local people, Horwich Heritage and the council felt that the building was of significant importance to the people of Horwich. If this building is now demolished to make way for more housing then this would be a terrible injustice to the residents many of who have been living there for many years and the staff, who are losing their jobs my heart goes out to them all and I wish them all well. I hope the local residents are happy with whatever replaces Vale House. Molly24
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Browneyes54 says...

I was working at Vale House as a Carer and it was a very sad day when they closed the home. Vale House was not an historical building. Ok it's been there for years. I would like to say to the residents of vale avenue and mallard drive that on sunday one of the residents that was in our home passed away. She wasn't in the best of health. But due to the upheaval of being moved from Vale House to another home did'nt help. I hope all the people of Vale Avenue and mallard drive have this on their conscience. I turned up at a few meetings to do with building a new home not one person from vale avenue attended these's meetings oh there were a few from mallard drive. All I can say is one day you will need to go into a care home yourselves. A new home would have created jobs for the people of horwich.
I was working at Vale House as a Carer and it was a very sad day when they closed the home. Vale House was not an historical building. Ok it's been there for years. I would like to say to the residents of vale avenue and mallard drive that on sunday one of the residents that was in our home passed away. She wasn't in the best of health. But due to the upheaval of being moved from Vale House to another home did'nt help. I hope all the people of Vale Avenue and mallard drive have this on their conscience. I turned up at a few meetings to do with building a new home not one person from vale avenue attended these's meetings oh there were a few from mallard drive. All I can say is one day you will need to go into a care home yourselves. A new home would have created jobs for the people of horwich. Browneyes54
  • Score: 0

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