Elderly angry at upped charges for lesser cover

Concerns: Ron Entwistle, 77, and his wife Edith, 81, at their home in Sunningdale, Broughton
Concerns: Ron Entwistle, 77, and his wife Edith, 81, at their home in Sunningdale, Broughton
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Pensioners living in a sheltered housing scheme are demanding to know why their weekly support costs have risen at the same time their warden has gone.

Ron Entwistle, 77, of Community Gateway-run Sunningdale off Woodplumpton Lane, said his charges had recently gone up from £11 a week to £11.86 - an extra £44.72 a year.

Mr Entwistle, a retired handyman, said: “That rise might not sound a lot, but it comes at a time when we’ve not had a scheme manager for a fortnight.

“There’s been no consultation, no notification, and there’s a lot of vulnerable, elderly people on this site wondering what’s going on.

“There’s a lady who’s 88 and another who’s 90, and they’re supposed to get a visit off the scheme manager to check they’re alright.

“They’ve not been getting anything like this lately, and they’re very concerned. There’s lots of rumours going around.

“We’re being told that you can push a button on your wall if you need help, and speak to an operator, but it’s not the same as having a chat with someone.

“It’s not just at Sunningdale either, I’ve spoken to people at other Gateway schemes in the local area and they have the same concerns.”

He added: “It begs the question; what are we actually getting for our money?

“Gateway provide us with what’s called a ‘menu of services’ and you choose options one, two or three depending on your circumstances.

“Each of the options are supposed to be run by the scheme manager, but that is obviously not being fulfilled at the moment.

“They’ve also recently put the rent up quite high, but all we seem to get for it is the centre being open for four hours a week. All there ever is, is the same toast mornings and coffee afternoons.”

A spokesman for Community Gateway Association declined to comment on why the warden had gone from the Sunningdale site, or whether it was a permanent arrangement.

He said: “There have been lengthy consultations with the residents of Sunningdale and we are happy to discuss any further concerns with those involved.”

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