‘Our fight will go to the Prime Minister’

Battle to save wardens  ' Geraldine Whitmore (left) with David Moore and Stephanie Liquorish. SG300713-222NG
Battle to save wardens ' Geraldine Whitmore (left) with David Moore and Stephanie Liquorish. SG300713-222NG
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Sheltered housing residents are vowing to take their fight to keep their wardens to the Prime Minister unless the county council talks to them face to face soon.

MP John Hayes has already promised to be their “champion” and try to save the service.

The South Holland and The Deepings MP met a 60-strong gathering of worried elderly people at a meeting in Spalding’s Lime Court Community Centre on August 5.

He pledged then to ask a county council representative to join him there for more talks with residents.

The MP has since asked the council to send a representative to a meeting, but so far has been offered only a private meeting with the county.

Spalding Cedar Court resident Geraldine Whitmore (65) delivered a letter to Mr Hayes’ home last week to ask when would county council leader Martin Hill meet them.

She said: “If we don’t hear anything by September 6 we are going to the national press and the Prime Minister.”

She said time is running out for residents as the wardens’ posts are safe only until the end of October.

Residents say wardens are their lifeline and fear they will be left with just a telephone service rather than the personal touch of dedicated staff who attend to everything from medical emergencies to personal problems.

Mrs Whitmore said: “There are lives at risk here.”

Fellow Cedar Court resident Michael Smith (73) said: “Feelings within our community are running very high. People are worried sick about what the future holds for them.”

He said life is often difficult for frail residents in their 80s and 90s, but younger residents like him are trapped in their homes during snow and ice and wardens are their only contact with the outside world.

“Time isn’t on our side – the warden service finishes at the end of October,” he said.

Mr Hayes is pressing on with his mission to persuade a county representative to attend a meeting with him and residents, but says he cannot force someone to come.

Whatever happens he will meet residents again and update them.

Mr Hayes said his determination to do right by the residents has not diminished.

“At the end of the day it is an important matter for them,” he said.