Woman claims to be paying the price for no wardens at Spalding home

FEELING VULNERABLE: The loss of wardens to help people living in sheltered housing in Lime Court, Spalding, has left Ann West unhappy and uncomfortable.  Photo: SG181013-558NG.
FEELING VULNERABLE: The loss of wardens to help people living in sheltered housing in Lime Court, Spalding, has left Ann West unhappy and uncomfortable. Photo: SG181013-558NG.
  • Council team happy to discuss security issues

A tenant living in what was warden-controlled sheltered housing in Spalding wants a refund for the axed service she is still paying for.

Ann West (71) is upset that South Holland District Council is charging her nearly £9 a month for services from its sheltered housing team which she claimed “only come round once a month just to see if the fire alarm is working”.

We’ve got no one living on-site now and if we’re lucky, someone comes round once a month to set off the fire alarm just to see if it’s working

Ann West, Lime Court, Spalding

Mrs West’s concern has been made worse by a spate of 25 burglaries and other crimes locally, most of them involving key safes that have been ripped off walls and forced open to get keys to the homes that have then been burgled.

At least one of the crimes happened in Lime Court and Mrs West said: “One of my neighbours who lives next door was woken up at 2.30am in the morning last Monday to find that her key safe had been broken into.

“Luckily, the key safe had been put up by a previous tenant and no keys were in it.

“But what concerns me is that when our front doors were changed, the locks were changed as well and there’s supposed to be a master key that fits all our front doors.

“So I contacted South Holland District Council’s sheltered housing team but it didn’t send me an answer.”

Wardens at Lime Court and other sheltered housing sites in South Holland were axed in April 2014 by Lincolnshire County Council after its Supporting People service was withdrawn as part of £49million worth of savings between 2013 and 2015.

The service was run on the county council’s behalf by the district council which then introduced a Sheltered Housing Service for people aged over 62 who pay a service charge as part of their rent.

In return, sheltered housing officers are available to advise people on housing-related matters and residents can also use a emergency “Alarm Call” system 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Mrs West said: “When I first moved in 11 years ago, I had a warden who was on-site and she was absolutely brilliant.

“She used to come round almost every single day and if she couldn’t, the warden would ring and explain why before asking if I was alright.

“But we’ve got no one living on-site now and if we’re lucky, someone comes round once a month to set off the fire alarm just to see if it’s working.

“I want the money that South Holland District Council is taking for no service to be paid back to me because what I’m paying for, and what I actually get, are oceans apart.”

A district council spokesman said: “Whilst there has been no designated sheltered housing warden service for several years, our sheltered housing team carries out duties that the warden used to do.

“The sheltered housing team are happy to discuss any issues that the resident has regarding security at Lime Court.”