Shocking news for elderly residents of doomed site

THE front page news item about the closure of Horsdonside sheltered housing in Wooler was truly shocking for several reasons.

Primarily that 25 people who thought they were going to hear about improvement plans suddenly found out they were going to have to find new homes because Horsdenside is to be closed.

For this to happen to people who are aged up to 96 and some of whom have lived at Horsdenside for 14 or 15 years is sickening.

To put not too fine a point on it where do these people go?

Wooler is a small community and Horsdenside represents nearly a quarter of the total sheltered accommodation run by Berwick Borough Housing.

Are old people in their 90s, who have lived in Wooler all their lives, to be dragged off to Berwick or Alnwick or God knows where.

The weasel words of Berwick Housing’s operations manager will be of very little comfort to the displaced residents who are to be ripped from their family, their community and their friends.

We must also ask why this closure, which has clearly been planned for some time, has been kept so secret by Berwick Borough Housing?

Where has the consultation been? Has Berwick Housing lived up to its much-vaunted Tenants Charter?

Why has the landlord of more than four years, allowed a state of affairs to develop where it is cheaper to knock down a much-needed property than refurbish it.

And, of course, not least what is Berwick Borough Housing planning to do with land windfall that will become available to them.

The support of the soon to be displaced residents must be the first concern of everyone but eventually Berwick Borough Housing and everyone else who knew this was going to happen need to answer some very serious questions.

Jeff Bullock,

Burnhouse Road, Wooler