MP backs older people’s fight to keep wardens

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MP John Hayes is backing elderly residents in their fight to keep district council wardens at South Holland’s sheltered housing complexes.

Around 60 elderly people met the South Holland and the Deepings MP, district council leader Gary Porter and portfolio holder Christine Lawton at Spalding’s Lime Court on Monday.

WORRIED RESIDENTS: Some of the sheltered housing residents from across South Holland at Monday's meeting.

WORRIED RESIDENTS: Some of the sheltered housing residents from across South Holland at Monday's meeting.

The warden service is under threat because cash-strapped Lincolnshire County Council, which funds the service, is cutting costs and residents fear they will be left with a call system to Grantham rather than the personal touch of district council wardens who help with everything from medical emergencies to personal problems.

One resident told Monday’s meeting: “Basically, we will be left with someone sitting in Grantham on a minimum wage who doesn’t really care if you are alive or dead.”

One after another described how the wardens are their “lifeline” and a reassuring presence when they have families who live many miles away or no family at all.

Coun Porter outlined steps the district council is taking to keep its contract with the county council, including making some service changes.

He said: “Our full intention is that we carry on delivering the service.”

One Lime Court resident said the wardens carried master keys for their homes and wanted to know what would happen to those if the district council failed to win the contract.

Coun Porter said: “If we don’t win the contract we will change the locks. It’s as simple as that.”

Mr Hayes has already raised concerns with county council leader Martin Hill and will now ask a county council representative to attend talks with him and residents at Lime Court.

He promised residents: “My job is to be your champion. I am a fierce defender of my constituents.”