Maintenance issues at Southesk Court

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A RESIDENT of Southesk Court, Ferryden, has contacted the Review to publicise an issue which she says is causing her and other residents concern.

It relates to the maintenance of the Angus Council complex.

The resident says that the buildings, which she believes were constructed in 1974, are overdue a thorough refreshment.

She says the heating system requires visits from the maintenance engineers as often as twice a week. Her understanding is that there are four boilers, all of which regularly break down, and which are due to be replaced.

Ironically, she says, the hot water from the taps is practically boiling, and she is worried for the safety of grandchildren.

The exterior of the building is also causing concern, with guttering having lush tufts of grass and other weeds growing in them. The lady believes that this could be the cause of leaks that have appeared at various times in people’s ceilings.

She tells us that in the past the wheelie-bins were cleaned inside and out after use, but this has stopped.

The geyser in a kitchen for a communal area has stopped working, and ‘a wee kettle’ is insufficient for the task.

It is also alleged that fire extinguishers in some areas have not been checked for around 15 years.

Our informant made no criticism of the staff of Southesk Court, whom she feels are doing the very best they can under difficult circumstances.

We asked Angus Council if Southesk Court is scheduled for refurbishment, and a spokeswoman told us: “The council has a programme of modernising its sheltered houses. Southesk Court was built in 1979 and is the next scheme be modernised, with work beginning in January 2013 and due for completion in December 2013. This follows on from the council’s current modernisation works at Inglis Court, Edzell and Jubilee Court, Letham.

“There are six boilers at South Esk Court, installed in 2003. There were some problems during December and January 2012, but the boilers have been running trouble free since then and have required no further visits from maintenance engineers.

“At Southesk Court, blending valves were fitted to the basins and baths to regulate water temperature to 40 degrees. Tenants then complained that the water temperature was not hot enough and requested that the blending valves be removed. At the time each tenant agreed to this and the valves were removed in August 2010. Should any tenant wish to have the blending valves re-fitted, they should contact the council and this work will be arranged. The kitchen sink water temperature is controlled by the hot water cylinder thermostat, which can be adjusted if required.”

“There has been recent work to clear guttering which had caused some leaks, and to remove gulls’ nests.

“The cleaning of wheelie bins was a private arrangement organised by the tenant group and was stopped some time ago, but the tenant group can restart this service at any time.

“The kitchen geyser was reported faulty beyond repair on July 10 and a new one geyser was installed on July 13.

“The fire extinguishers are serviced annually.”