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Pensioner power in effect

Residents of Clay Crescent, Moray Quadrant and West End Drive in Bellshill, Kew Gardens in Tannochside, Central Park in New Stevenston protest outside Bellshill First Stop Shop

Residents of Clay Crescent, Moray Quadrant and West End Drive in Bellshill, Kew Gardens in Tannochside, Central Park in New Stevenston protest outside Bellshill First Stop Shop

Pensioners from five local sheltered housing complexes held a demonstration outside the Bellshill First Stop Shop last week.

The residents of Clay Crescent, Moray Quadrant and West End Drive in Bellshill, Kew Gardens in Tannochside and Central Park in New Stevenston are up in arms about North Lanarkshire Council’s desire to relocate their wardens.

The council claims having sheltered housing officers work in a different complexes will aid their development, but residents say at their time of life they do not like change and wish to be left in peace.

Catherine White, of Clay Crescent, said: “We were never consulted or asked our feelings over this, we just received a letter telling us it would be happening.

“A meeting was then organised with a housing official, but they just said there were ‘issues’ and wouldn’t tell us the reasons behind this.

“We didn’t feel we were listened to so decided the only option we had was to take to the streets in order to make the council notice our complaints.

“Residents are in sheltered housing for a good reason and many of them do not like change to their routine, in some cases it may have taken a long time for the warden to form a bond of trust and that will just be lost.

“There is also the issue of our social life, the wardens were very good at helping to organise activities to keep us active, particularly at night.

“However, we understand they will now only be working office hours, are we just supposed to sit in the house after dinner time?

“We are old, perhaps we are set in our ways, but we don’t have long left in this world so could do without our remaining years filled with this kind of stress.”

North Lanarkshire was due to have the wardens start in their new locations on April 7, this was pushed back to April 14 and has now been suspended indefinitely, although the Times & Speaker understands they would still wish it to happen.

Area housing manager Alison Clarke said: “I met two of the protesters and explained the situation to them and have also written to each of the residents.

“We fully understand the strength of feeling among residents and had decided to delay the staff rotation meantime to allow us time for further consideration.

“I would point out, however, that as a service we are keen to broaden the experience and knowledge of our officers and to assist with their career development.”

Catherine added: “They had postponed doing this and now it has been suspended indefinitely, but we want it off the table entirely and won’t stop protesting until that is what happens.”

 

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