Work stops short

RESIDENTS in a Forfar housing scheme are feeling short-changed by Angus Council with regards to improvement work being carried out in the area.

Susan Kilcoyne, chairman of the Lordburn, Restenneth and Pitreuchie Action Group, contacted the Dispatch claiming work has been carried out on three of the four blocks of eight flats, but because someone has bought their flat in the last block, repainting work and a door security system will not be fitted.

Susan said: “The four blocks are getting insulation but because one person has bought their flat the council is saying it won’t paint them and won’t put in an intercom system, which is a safety feature.

“Why can’t the council install the intercom system and deactivate the buzzer for the flat that has been bought, and just paint up to his door? It’s absolutely ridiculous.

“There are seven other house-holders, seven council tenants. The majority of them work, the council is getting rent and council tax but they are not getting anything to stay here.

“The close is an absolute mess. It is needing painted and the block needs an intercom system. There is not enough support for things like this. It is really annoying that everybody else has had this work done. The council has got money for that house but they have to maintain seven others.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We are currently carrying out an external insulation programme to improve the energy efficiency of council flats in several parts of Angus, including Lordburn Place. This is designed to reduce the risk of fuel poverty.

“We are also installing door entry systems to our council flats as part of the work to bring our properties up to the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

“We have a rolling repaint programme for our properties, which can include communal stairwells where necessary.

“All of these areas of work are classed as improvements, and as such, need the agreement of any owners within the blocks, before they can go ahead, together with a financial contribution from the owners towards the work. Financial regulations and legal entitlements do not allow us to carry out this work without these agreements, or without a share of the cost being paid.

“Where possible we work around these barriers to ensure that as many tenants as possible can enjoy the new improvements. We are also currently looking at further ways to minimise the cost to owners. We can however, only pursue these options if the owners in the blocks reply to our correspondence and open up a dialogue.

“We are always happy to discuss planned work with the local action group and where possible, find solutions to their concerns.”