Residents are ‘up in arms’ over plans to reduce warden’s role

RESIDENTS at Douglas Haig Court have been told that budget cuts will see the job of the warden being combined with the cleaner.

Cairn Housing has informed its tenants that as a result of funding from Scottish Borders Council being axed, its current warden service is under severe threat - and a proposal that the role is reduced to include cleaning duties is currently out to consultation.

A spokesperson for Cairn told the Hawick News: “A wide-ranging consultation exercise was conducted by SBC in relation to their review of older people’s services in the Borders. One of the outcomes of this review involves the withdrawal of housing support funding for Douglas Haig Court by SBC with effect from March 31 next year.

“Cairn HA, in partnership with SBC, is therefore in the process of consulting with residents and stakeholders in relation to changes that require to be made to the current service”.

Councillor Davie Paterson has since met with angry residents and arranged a further meeting with representatives of Cairn and the local authority.

Mr Paterson said: “Cairn are quite sympathetic and know the current warden has been a godsend, but they just can’t afford it. The residents are up-in-arms and I am fighting to see if we can maybe find some money from somewhere to carry on the service.”

He added: “Ruth [Hutton], the warden, does a great job such as phoning residents every morning, but that will all stop.”

Hawick’s MSP John Lamont has also expressed concerns. He said: “I am due to meet residents to discuss how best to take this forward but in the meantime I’ve written to Andrew Lowe, the director of social work.”

A spokesperson for SBC commented: “We have little to add to Cairn Housing’s statement, although we stress that the needs of residents will be at the heart of every decision that’s taken. There will be ongoing close communications between Cairn Housing and SBC in addition to the wider consultation that is taking place with residents and stakeholders.”