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Sheltered residents safety is top priority - Moorlands Leader

The Leader of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has pledged to keep the health, safety and well-being of sheltered accommodation residents as the priority whatever the outcome of the current consultation about the future of on-site co-ordinators.

Sanctuary Housing, which manages sheltered accommodation at Moorlands Court in Biddulph and Pickwood Close and Mount Pleasant in Leek, is currently asking residents for their views on a weekly increase in their service charge to cover costs relating to retaining their scheme co-ordinators, as the government funding which paid for these services was withdrawn last year.

Following requests from residents, Council Leader Councillor Sybil Ralphs invited Christa Ripley, Head of Housing at Sanctuary Housing, to Moorlands House where the issues being raised during the consultation and future funding plans were discussed.

Councillor Ralphs said: "Any proposed changes can be unsettling and I fully understand that residents are concerned as a result of this consultation which is why I requested this meeting.

"We had a very positive discussion and we agreed that the safety and well-being of residents remains of paramount importance so I am particularly pleased that Sanctuary Housing has agreed to cover the costs of a pull-cord alarm system for use in emergencies.

"I was also reassured by confirmation that staff from Sanctuary Housing will continue to be available to visit the site through the day during weekdays and that there will be a reactive tenancy support service available to assist residents should they need it."

Sanctuary Housing Group is running similar consultations at retirement schemes across the country. Moorlands residents have until 24 February to make their views known.

Councillor Ralphs added: "Residents may well decide that they wish to see the co-ordinators retained but there is a cost associated with this that will need to be met.

"I shall be keeping in close contact with Sanctuary Housing and its partners and watching the outcome of this closely. Whatever that is, people living in these homes can be assured that I will continue dialogue with all those involved in future service provision to ensure that safety remains the top priority."