On a lovely sunny day, Valentines day we visited Windsor House to join the residents for their weekly coffee session. Windsor House is an iconic block of independent/ sheltered flats for older people situated in the middle of Whitstable. Flats in Windsor House are very popular and are snapped up quickly when they become available. The residents are very well supported by their managers who will always go the extra mile for them to ensure their wellbeing and safety.
We were warmly welcomed by the Chair of the Residents Committee, Trevor Liberson and introduced to the residents. Many of the residents already know Bernadette, the Labour Councillor for Gorrell and Chris Cornell and I were introduced as the Labour candidates for Gorrell in the upcoming local elections.
The chair and residents shared some of their concerns with us which were mostly related to their environment. Parking in the grounds of Windsor House, uneven pathways which are treacherous for many residents as they have to use walking frames or wheelchairs. Other concerns raised were the state of the roof and the number of oven hoods which were beginning to fail in the flats. The residents were appreciative of the support they had received from Bernadette, in particular getting the yellow lines painted in the grounds. She is also working to get a 20 mph zone introduced in the area of Windsor House . Labour councillors have also been active in helping several residents in relation to benefits and housing issues; with two residents taking time to talk with Bernadette about their cases.
Some of the residents expressed concern that as you got older you were often unseen by society and politicians and stereotyped and patronised. I totally support this feeling as having turned 70 this year I am tired of being marginalised or written off. The concerns of older people are usually the concerns of the whole community. Having a well funded NHS ,good transport links, housing, local shops and libraries, a clean and safe environment, good schools. Creating a community which will be a good place to live for everybody regardless of age.
Labour Councillors will continue to support this valued community and to work to create a well-funded safe and vital community for everyone-not just for the few.