Church community gets behind Angus sheltered housing residents

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More than 40 members of the community turned out to support sheltered housing residents at a meeting and ensure future care is provided for.

Last Wednesday, November 25 at Melville South Church, Montrose Churches Together, headed by Elizabeth Anderson, provided a platform for anyone with concerns to put questions to Angus Councillors Bill Duff and David May, supported by church representatives.

Glennis Middleton, convenor of social work and health, had agreed to address the church group which she thought was in private, but subsequently cancelled.

Mrs Anderson read out a letter from Richard Stiff, chief executive of Angus Council, which explained the problem of a £25 million shortfall in the council budget.

The letter also pointed out an apparent lack of demand for sheltered housing places, although some of the audience in the room said they had been waiting for a space to become available in one of the Montrose complexes for months.

David May said he was concerned at the inaccuracies of some of the statistics contained in the letter, adding: “There is always a big demand for sheltered housing and as the demographics change this will get worse.

‘‘There should be more spaces available not fewer. Sheltered housing is actually saving the council money, the alternatives of care homes and private home visits are much more expensive.”

There were a number of younger couples at the meeting who were worried about the possible demise of sheltered housing.

Phyllis Jolly, who had also been at the Forfar demonstration, said: “We don’t have children so we need to plan for our future care. If one or the other of us is failing in health we want to have the option of sheltered housing.”

Francis Wilson, resident at Caledonian Court, said: “I am here tonight to stick up for the wee folk. Wardens are vital for the residents. They are the first person you meet as you arrive and may well be the last person you ever see.”