Dec 1 2011 by Alastair McNeill, Hamilton Advertiser
ELDERLY residents in an Uddingston sheltered housing complex are worried about plans to downgrade their landlord’s involvement in the facility.
The West of Scotland Housing Association operate the sheltered housing complex in Crofthead Street which has 17 tenants.
At a recent meeting the residents, some in their eighties and nineties, were informed the association wished to opt out of providing warden services.
The wardens are present during the day and residents are reassured by their presence.
One resident, 96-year-old Francis Docherty, told the Advertiser that he and others living at the complex were very concerned about the plans.
He said: “It’s a cause for concern not knowing what the future holds.”
Mr Docherty – who was a self-employed electrician before he retired – said the warden situation was of particular concern.
He explained: “The wardens keep in touch with us every day and they also do our washing in a separate area.
“They contact everyone by buzzer to check that they are fine. They’re an important support for people here.”
West of Scotland Housing Association director of housing Colin Turnbull explained this week that the organisation had decided it should concentrate on “landlord duties” and work with councils to have the warden service provided by “other agencies”.
The warden service at the West of Scotland Housing Association’s Cumbernauld complex has already been taken over by North Lanarkshire Council.
Discussions have taken place with South Lanarkshire over warden services at their Uddingston and Stonehouse sheltered housing complexes.
Mr Turnbull also pointed out that demand for sheltered housing flats in Uddingston had fallen over the last year and the association had been finding it “increasingly difficult” to let them.
He commented: “This has led the association to consider whether the flats should remain as sheltered, or whether there is merit in the flats becoming less intensively supported with an individual community alarm to summon support in emergency.
“The association has met with its 17 tenants as a group and as individuals to discuss the options and to get their views on how any change would impact on them.
“The association will hold a further meeting with tenants once they have pulled together tenants views.
“The association will discuss proposals fully with tenants and try to ensure, wherever possible, that we address their concerns.”
Uddingston councillor Jim McGuigan is to meet residents of the sheltered housing complex next week to discuss the matter.
He said: “This issue has been around for almost a year. I will be speaking to the residents and agencies to examine a way forward.
“We don’t want decisions made with very little notice given.”