Tenants feel like 2nd class citizens

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North Lanarkshire Council is to carry out a review of the levels of caretaker services in its tower blocks.

This follows complaints from residents of Motherwell’s towers that they do not enjoy the same level of service as those living in Coatbridge.

It has been argued that while residents of both towns pay the same amount of rent those in Motherwell only receive 10 hours cover a day, while in Coatbridge it is 24 hours.

The council declined to say exactly what caretaker cover the Coatbridge towers receive, but did admit it was different to Motherwell.

A resident of Grange Tower said: “I’ve lived here for 30 years and we’ve definitely seen a bit of a decline in that time.

“We used to have a caretaker who lived in the tower and they were available 24 hours a day, and while I’m sure they were well paid to make sure they were always available, it was good knowing there was always someone on hand if you needed help.

“The caretakers we have do a great job, but they simply don’t have the time to dedicate to each tower in the same way. It’s even worse if they are covering more than one tower, due to illness or holidays, then we might only have them for four or five hours a day.

“I know the council has financial issues and as a result has had to make cuts. I think everyone accepts that. The issue is that we believe the towers in Coatbridge are still covered 24 hours a day so get a better service than we do.

“Surely all the properties are run by North Lanarkshire Council should be receiving the same level of service. Why are we being treated as second class citizens?

“I don’t know if it would help, but if the council need more money to provide us with a more robust caretaker service I’d be happy to pay an extra couple of pounds in rent and I’m sure there are plenty of other residents who feel the same.”

The council says the level of caretaker service is designed to be appropriate to each area, but is looking to see if it needs changed.

Housing Operations manager Stephen Llewellyn said: “We have significantly increased caretaker services in the Motherwell tower blocks over the past four years. Caretakers are now on site seven days a week for 10 hours each day.

“Caretaker services are designed to meet the needs of each area. We are currently carrying out a full review of all tower blocks to ensure people living in each block are receiving the appropriate level of caretaking service required.

“If anyone is experiencing issues in their block, I would urge them to contact their local housing office.”