Shocking Christmas 'present' from the Council

Date published: 05 January 2010

Residents of warden-assisted housing in Heywood had a shocking Christmas 'present' from Rochdale Borough Council when they received a hand delivered letter on the evening of Christmas Eve telling them that the full-time warden service was to be withdrawn.

Residents of Springfield Court were informed in the letter that the warden at Isherwood Court would cover for them as well - though it is understood that the warden at Isherwood Court, half a mile away, cannot drive.

Residents have expressed their shock at the way the news was given to them.

At last night’s meeting of Heywood Township Lib Dem Councillor Doreen Brophy-Lee, in charge of housing and Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH), said that this was a matter for adult care portfolio holder Councillor Dale Mulgrew and that she had been away in December for a bereavement - it was pointed out that the letter came from RBH.

The council officer present at the meeting, who had signed the letter, said that he was following Councillors' instructions that the letter had to go out by Christmas. The letter was only signed on 23 December.

Councillor Mulgrew and Rochdale Borough Council Executive Andy Zuntz both apologised on behalf of the Council and Mr Zuntz promised a full investigation.

Speaking to Rochdale Online today, Councillor Mulgrew said: "I had been given an indication that a letter was being prepared, but I asserted that I had not given approval nor had sanctioned the sending out of this letter.

"In fact, I was not aware that even a letter had been sent out, and neither was I clear that the Christmas Eve letter was an exact duplicate of the one that I had caught sight of. That is why Andy Zuntz suggested that a full investigation be launched."

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