I have been informed by elderly tenants living within Council-managed Elderly Person Group Dwellings (EPGDs) that the Council have been telling them that they may lose their wardens if they do not vote Yes to Stock Transfer.
The fact that this Tory administration is telling residents of Elderly Persons Group Dwellings (EPDGs) that unless they vote Yes to Stock Transfer they could lose their warden service is, to say the least, a disturbing turn of events in the campaign.
That the Tories are even contemplating the removal of wardens from EPGDs is bad enough but to use the threat of their loss against tenants as a campaign tactic is utterly despicable. Many of these vulnerable residents rely on their wardens for many aspects of their every day lives. The threat of withdrawing the wardens is likely to distress, upset and cause fear among the most elderly and vulnerable people living in Swindon. So much for caring, compassionate conservatism!
In my opinion, it would be absolutely disgraceful if the wardens are removed. Moreover, because the council has a duty of care for the EPGD residents and any new housing association only has a duty to provide housing; it is far more likely that tenants would lose the warden service under a Housing Association than were the stock to remain under council control. This is the experience in other local authorities.
Labour are committed to retaining the warden service and I give a commitment to Council EPGD residents that, under a Labour controlled authority, all wardens would remain in service.
The people of Swindon complain that all political parties are the same but they are not. Labour is committed to protecting the elderly and vulnerable of this town and our commitment to retain the wardens service proves this. Labour has long argued that the Conservatives do not care about the elderly and vulnerable and the use of this fear campaign in this matter shows that the Tories do not care.
Cllr Jim Grant
Swindon Labour Group Leader