Sheltered housing residents and wardens in Montrose invite councillors to walk a day in their shoes

Tenants at Blackfriars Court. Pictured from the left are: Ian Woodward, Ella Brown, Margaret Falconer and Ted Smith.
Tenants at Blackfriars Court. Pictured from the left are: Ian Woodward, Ella Brown, Margaret Falconer and Ted Smith.

Wardens and tenants at a sheltered housing complex in Montrose are offering councillors the chance to walk a day in their shoes.

There was a meeting at Blackfriars Court in Montrose on Monday night to which all four town councillors were invited.

Councillors Bill Duff, David May and Mark Salmond attended, along with around 25 residents and wardens.

As new legislation from the government coined self-directed support (SDS) means people are being given more choice and control over the care they receive, Angus Council has been reviewing the situation at sheltered housing complexes.

At the meeting on Monday, one warden asked the councillors why they weren’t consulted on the changes and invited them to shadow the tenancy support officers (TSOs) to see the work they do.

Cllr Duff said: “I don’t see why we should take a black view. It could be as good as it is at the moment. Sometimes in life things have to change.”

The warden said: “We all have to endure change in life, we accept that, but I think without having done your homework you’re opening yourselves up to a whole can of worms and you could end up being sued.”

Residents have told us they would be happy for councillors to come and spend time with them to see what life is like in sheltered housing.

Cllr May said he thought SDS only thought about the individual, not the community.

One resident said: “Nearly everyone has a watch. My watch is working, so I don’t go to the shop and say ‘could I have another battery’. And it is the same with the wardens. We know our wardens. The residents don’t want any Tom, Dick or Harry that they don’t know doing things, we just want things the way it’s always been - working!”

Last week, the social work and health committee was asked to approve several recommendations in a report looking into the future of sheltered housing in Angus.

The report was deferred to the full council meeting on February 11 following debate on the competency of a motion asking for TSOs to be retained.