Community groups are fighting back against plans to replace caretakers at Dundee’s multis.
Hilltown and Lochee residents are calling on Dundee City Council to reconsider plans to centralise the caretakers with a “rapid response” team.
Lochee’s Save Our High Street group, Phoenix Residents Group in Whorterbank and the Dundee Pensioners Forum are now set to take to the streets to petition fellow residents – claiming safety is being put at risk.
Jayne Kelly, from Save Our High Street, said: “Everybody I have spoken to has been vehemently opposed to it.
“For a lot of people, the caretakers are the first point of contact, so we want the council to reconsider this.
“There’s a difference between consulting with us and allaying fears on a decision that’s already been made.”
The new unit would be based out of Dundee West Housing Office in Lochee and would respond to incidents that are either called in or spotted on council CCTV. At present, caretakers work shifts as late as 3am, monitoring entrances, reporting incidents and assisting residents as required.
Lochee councillor Charlie Malone previously shared his concerns about the removal of caretaker staff and wants the issue to be returned to the City Chambers.
He said: “I have been contacted by community groups and many residents about fears they have in relation to the proposed centralisation of concierge services. No one has approached me in favour of the move and residents in Lochee and the Hilltown have begun campaigning.
“A consultation is being planned which was meant to happen three years ago.
“I will be looking to bring this back to the committee so that residents’ voices can be heard in the council chamber.”
He added: “I visited an elderly resident in Adamson Court this week who told me without a concierge presence, she might never leave her house again due to safety concerns. Efficiencies can’t be delivered on the backs of the vulnerable.”
A spokesman for Dundee City Council said: “Approval to consult with relevant stakeholders on the review of caretaker services was agreed by the council’s housing committee in June 2015. That consultation, which includes trade unions, employees and tenants, is ongoing.”