Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Sheltered homes for the elderly are being demolished in Carlisle and  Kenny Simpson is concerned, he says in this letter to the Editor of the News and Star ,Carlisle, published today. Kenny is Treasurer of Carlisle Tenants` and Residents` Federation which is equally concerned and is campaigning to support the vulnerable old people needing sheltered accommodation and to stop the vanishing sheltered homes:



I find it very difficult to understand the very disturbing developments around Carlisle sheltered homes for the elderly-or what is left of these homes.

I also find it very difficult to understand why city council and the county council members seem to be completely unconcerned about these disturbing developments.

For example, I have yet to hear a word about  these developments during the current  county council election campaign.

The disturbing developments follow the takeover of the city` former council houses ten years ago by the giant Riverside organisation, one of the biggest housing associations in the country.

With these houses to Riverside went other properties including something like seven sheltered homes in various parts of the city, built and  run in a caring way by the council.

Since Riverside took over, some of these homes have been demolished. The latest to go is Arnside Court in Harraby where the site is  to be developed to make it more financially profitable by  becoming housing.

Every one of these demolitions has a human cost. Every demolition represents the uprooting of several elderly residents, many of which I know personally were moved under duress.

And the warden service   for the homes has been repeatedly cut back over the years. That also represents a human cost involving many vulnerable people.

Last week (April 25) you reported that  charges are now to be levied by Riverside if the elderly and vulnerable people in these homes wish to retain what is left of the warden service.

Altogether, since Riverside appeared on the scene, sheltered housing has been decimated  in the interests of profitable housing development

The inmates of these homes have now become Carlisle`s forgotten elderly. And finally, through these new charges, the screw is being applied to clear all residents from what remains of these homes and make Carlisle  sheltered housing a forgotten service

Where have  the councillors been while all this is going on? One solitary Botcherby councillor is concerned about what is happening  at one of the remaining homes, Freshfield Court, in his ward.

Where do the other two Botcherby councillors stand?And where does Councillor Joe Hendry stand in his dual role as Leader of the city council and also a Riverside director?

Three other members of the council are Riverside directors and another councillor is a full-time executive employee of Riverside. Another Riverside executive employee is standing for Labour in Thursday`s election.

Is all this Riverside involvement in the city council`s affairs a  healthy state of affairs?

Particularly as Riverside is now increasingly seen as a firm of property developers  in process of carving up the city estates.

Information about the Federation and Carlisle South Community Association is contained in the first entry of this blog, published on March 25

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