Church to hold meeting on sheltered housing issues

Melville South Church
Melville South Church

The future of sheltered housing in Montrose will be the main focus at an open meeting being held in the town tonight (Wednesday).

The meeting has been arranged by Montrose Churches Together - the body which represents most of the churches in the town.

Glennis Middleton, Angus Council’s convener of social work and health, was to address the meeting but has pulled out. Montrose Councillor Bill Duff has stepped in.

The meeting, which is open to anyone wishing to attend, will take place in the hall of Melville South Church in Castle Street at 7.30pm.

It has been called after the consultation period and private meetings between Angus Council and sheltered housing tenants and their family, as the local authority seeks to implement the Self Directed Support government initiative.

This has left some residents fearing they may lose their warden service, as well as community lounges, laundry facilities and guest rooms.

Elizabeth Anderson, chairperson of Montrose Churches Together, said: “The churches that are part of Montrose Churches Together hold services in sheltered housing complexes in Montrose once a month and it was at these services that some of the residents spoke to the people conducting the services and told them what was being proposed.

“The residents are worried that they are going to lose their wardens and asked us to speak on their behalf.

“On the one hand we are being told that older people are feeling lonely and isolated and on the other hand sheltered housing residents could lose their community lounges, which would only make them more isolated.

“I sent letters to the four Montrose councillors about the meeting - two sent back letters and one phoned me and all three said they are in support of keeping the wardens.”

A council spokesperson said: “The consultation is part of a broad review of the care and support services provided in the county.

“Many people now receive tailored care and support packages to allow them to live at home for as long as they can. These packages are based on the assessed needs of the individual, rather than being attached to any tenancy they have.

“The introduction of Self Directed Support now gives people the option to choose who will provide that care.”