Cllr raises concerns over warden changes

AN ELLON councillor has met with Aberdeenshire’s Director of Social Work, to raise concerns about the ongoing consultation process over introducing a mobile warden service for the local authority’s care homes.

SNP Councillor for Ellon & District Rob Merson met with Ritchie Johnson after previously raising concerns about the process with senior officials. Despite being offered an assurance by Mr Johnson that he will receive a detailed response to his outstanding queries, Cllr Merson insists he remains ‘determined’ to resist the intended cuts to the service.

As a result of complaints from residents, all 63 Council complexes will now be visited by council representatives to outline the intention to replace full-time wardens with reduced teams of ‘mobile’ wardens.

“I have already met with the residents of several sheltered housing complexes following complaints about the consultation process which preceded these cuts, and was forced to the opinion that there were serious flaws in that process”, said Cllr Merson.

“The residents of sheltered housing complexes in Ellon were required to travel to Peterhead to participate in previous consultation meetings. The seating arrangements were inadequate, and no provision was made for the hard of hearing at those meetings. Such an arrangement automatically excluded the participation of those most likely to require the assistance of the wardens on a regular basis.

“I also complained that the councillors were not invited to the original consultation meetings, and requested that they be invited to attend the information meetings currently under way”, he continued. “Although that was agreed to, and I was able to attend all three meetings in Ellon, it is matter of regret that many of these meetings were arranged for times which clashed with committee meetings, and even a meeting of Full Council. Many of my colleagues were therefore unable to attend the sheltered housing meetings.

“While the latest round of meetings may be helpful in specifying the detail of the proposed reduction in warden cover at individual complexes, they certainly have not allayed many of the concerns of my constituents and their families regarding the adverse impact these cuts will have on their security and wellbeing. They do not believe these concerns have been fully taken into account, and I remain determined to resist the intended cuts.”