Elderly treated badly over warden changes

ELDERLY sheltered housing residents claim they were treated badly during changes to wardens provision.

As reported in The Crow last year, South Cambridgeshire District Council has been forced to make changes to its wardens scheme to combat a budget deficit.

The council dropped a controversial plan to remove all on-site wardens, but staff are now required to travel around the district to serve different sheltered housing schemes.

This has come as a shock to residents in Bassingbourn, who say they were not informed before about the changes.

Derek Whiting, 85, said: “We have just been notified by the council that the warden of our sheltered housing is being moved.

“None of the residents of the sheltered housing has had any say in the matter and we feel very aggrieved.”

The budget deficit came after tenants rejected a scheme to transfer council housing stock to a private housing association.

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Mr Whiting, who lives in the sheltered housing with his wife Monica, 81, says he and his neighbours are perplexed because their warden is now being made to travel to schemes in other villages.

“She has been the warden for many years and knows the residents of the schemes very well,” he said.

“She visits every day and can spot a problem as soon as it occurs.

“There is continuity of care and the residents do not have to worry about strangers in their homes.

“Why then is it necessary to send her to another village? Why can she not be left in place to do the job she does so well here and continue to cover the schemes locally?

“We find it strange that the wardens have to be swapped around and sent to work in other villages, and the wardens from those villages sent here.

“There is no logic in it, and why do we have to be treated so badly?”

The residents have vowed to take action, and have contacted local MP Andrew Lansley.

Former RAF man Mr Whiting said: “We are not invisible, even if the council wished we were, and we have a voice.”

A spokesman for South Cambridgeshire District Council said the changes were necessary so that everyone in the district could continue to receive the same level of care.

She said: “When allocating wardens, we have to take into account a number of factors, such as where people live and whether they have their own transport.

“The changes we have made have allowed wardens to remain on site at all sheltered housing schemes, and ensure that the same high level of care is available in all places across the district.”