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24 September 2014
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Greenwich and Bexley

Frank Godley Court in Sidcup
The campaign to save the schemes is on.

Pensioner Homes Threatened

By Ayshea Buksh in Bexley
More than 200 pensioners are fighting to save their homes after a housing association announced they’re shutting down six sheltered housing schemes in Bexley.

"I dont know where I will go."
Maud Glover, 91.

Frank Godley Court in Sidcup is one of the schemes. It’s home to around 40 pensioners - many of them in their eighties and nineties.  The oldest resident is 105 years old.

The London and Quadrant Housing Trust who run the schemes says they are no longer financially viable.

Ninety-one-year -old Maud Glover has lived at Frank Godley Court for 14 years and doesn’t want to move now.

“I was shattered when I they told us. I don’t know where I will go," she said.

The trust has offered to find alternative accommodation for each resident and help cover moving costs.  Maisie Foster has lived at Frank Godley Court for nine years and doesn't want to move now and has been campaigning to keep it open.

"I like it here. I'll do whatever it takes to stay. I have been doing a petition and people locally are very supportive of us, " she said.

Resident Michael Batty
Resident Michael Batty is aged 72

Michael Batty is aged 72 and says the pressure of closure has put the residents under a great deal of stress.

"Everyone's been feeling ill. Not eating properly. Not sleeping properly, " he said.
"I'm very upset by the way we've all been treated."

The London and Quadrant Housing Trust own 16 sheltered housing schemes in the borough of Bexley. They’ve assured the residents they will be re-housed elsewhere in the borough or in another part of the country.

The trust says sheltered accommodation is no longer as popular as it used to be in the area. Many of the flats need modernising but that would cost too much.

Paul Kingsley is Group Director London & Quadrant Supported Living. He says the future of housing for the elderly must change.

"The demographics have changed. We are looking into what provision is needed to meet the needs and aspirations for the 21st century, " he told the BBC.

Bexley Council transferred ownership of 16 sheltered housing schemes in the borough to L&Q back in 1998. The council is now Conservative controlled and the new administration say they are fighting for the pensioners.

The leader of Bexley Council Cllr Ian Clement says he’s looking into what legal powers the council still has under the transfer agreement.

"We remain to be convinced," said the council leader.

The London and Quadrant Trust want to close the six schemes over the next three years and are now in a period of consultation. They are hoping to finalise their plans by the end of the year.

                          

last updated: 23/11/06
 
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R.Hart.
The services in this area are in a bad way with the lack of water in 06 fire services cut n.h.s cut schools closed yet L&Q are craming more people in the area now L&Q are closing sheltered housing .They say sheltred housing is not finacially viable they do not mention that most oap find it hard on an avrage pension to pay the rent.

DENISE BLACKWELL
I AM THE GREAT NEICE OF FRANK GODLEY VC - THIS SHELTERED HOME COMPLEX WAS NAMED AFTER HIM WHEN IT OPENED IN 1976. OBVIOUSLY WITH MY FAMILY CONNECTION I HAVE BECOME MOVED AND INVOLVED WITH THIS CASE AND HAVE HAD THE GREATEST OF PLEASURE IN MEETING STAFF AND RESIDENTS AT FRANK GODLEY COURT. IT IS A WARM AND WELCOMING COMMUNITY AND I AM VERY DISTURBED THAT LONDON & QUADRANT HAVE GIVEN SUCH WEAK REASONS FOR CLOSING THE PREMISES. I HAVE HAD THE PRIVALEDGE OF BEING SHOWN AROUND THE RESIDENTS FLATS (WHICH ACCORDING TO L&Q ARE IN NEED OF MODERNISATION WHICH OUTWAY FINACIAL RESOURCES)AND THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL, WELL MAINTAINED WITH NO NEED OF UPDATING - IF YOU DOUBT WHAT I SAY ASK TO VISIT FRANK GODLEY COURT AND TAKE A LOOK FOR YOURSELVES!!! MAYBE IN TRUTH L&Q ARE JUST MORE INTERESTED IN FREEING UP THE BUILDING BECAUSE IT IS STANDING ON TWO ACRES OF PRIME DEVELOPMENT LAND???? DO THESE PEOPLE AT L&Q NOT HAVE ELDERLY FAMILY OF THEIR OWN - DO THEY NOT HAVE ANY FEELINGS OR MORALS - CAN THEY NOT SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO THESE ELDERLY FOLK? I SHALL STAND BY THE RESIDENTS OF FRANK GODLEY COURT TO FIGHT AS MY GREAT UNCLE DID IN WW1 - FOR WHAT IS RIGHT!

Mark Thomas
Anyone used to dealing with housing associations will not be surprised by this. It's obvious they see themselves as property developers and fail to consider that their commodity is homes. Something needs to be done to curb their empire building and emphasise their responsibilites

Mrs Denise Needham
How can they say Sheltered Housing is not as popular. My Dad lives at FGC and he waited years to get a place. He has been there 5 years, very settled, where are L&Q going to move over 200 elderly vulnerable people to if the schemes close. There were will not be enough sheltered places available. This is L&Q looking to make money, they are not answerable to shareholders they are a trust. North Cray School is another of their blunders, still a case to answer there.

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