Old folk resort to petition to get homes painted

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OLD folk have forced a revamp of their ‘tawdry’ sheltered housing scheme after presenting a petition to council bosses.

Residents at William Crook House in Green End Lane, Hemel Hempstead, were upset the building had not had a lick of paint in years, despite damage caused by a leaking roof.

The petition – signed by more than 60 people out of 64 flats – was presented by Councillor Fiona Guest to a meeting of Dacorum Borough Council’s housing and community scrutiny committee.

“I went to visit them and they took me on a tour and showed me the works that needed doing,” she said afterwards.

“It was tired and tawdry. It needs revamping and freshening up.

“They were upset. They wanted the work done to improve their homes and living environment.”

A report to the committee reveals no decorating work has taken place at William Crook House for at least seven years.

The budget for painting houses, flats and sheltered accommodation across the borough plummeted to £350,000 this year from £1.25 million in 2009/10.

However, £100,000 has been spent renewing the roof at William Crook House and work to repair ceilings is ‘now under way’.

A further £11,000 is to be spent replacing and upgrading boiler equipment and fire doors.

Decorating work is now due to take place next year under a new programme of works drawn up to tackle a backlog.

Mrs Guest said committee members were ‘very sympathetic and understanding’.

“Officers are now looking at taking action and having work done,” she said.