Independent living in Leighton Buzzard... or more like prison?

Greenfields, Leighton Buzzard. Do you live there too? Whats your view? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk
Greenfields, Leighton Buzzard. Do you live there too? Whats your view? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk

Residents at a sheltered accommodation site say they are being “condemned to a miserable Christmas” by bah humbug management.

Greenfields Independent Living site situated at Theedway, Leighton Buzzard, harbours 82 flats for the elderly.

Managed by Aldwyck Housing Association, it was hailed a success at the time of its opening last year.

But residents – who have contacted MP Andrew Selous over the issues – say their efforts to foster a community spirit have been thwarted and that a high turnover of staff has led to “bad morale” at the site.

One woman said: “Most of the residents living here are up in arms at the way that we are treated.”

The woman claimed management had carried out a “hatchet job” on staff with one supervisor suddenly escorted off site in front of residents three weeks ago without explanation.

There was also a meeting on Wednesday, where residents vented their frustrations, but it is claimed nothing has changed as a consequence.

The woman added: “We’re told it’s independent living but we all feel that it’s more like a prison.”

Others complain that no Christmas decorations are allowed apart from a tree and that attempts to organise activities have been frustrated by management.

A communal fridge bought by residents for cooking Christmas dinner and Sunday lunches has apparently been removed on health and safety grounds.

There are also doubts of any entertainment after two choirs were refused permission to perform last year.

Another resident added: “Aldwyck are condemning residents who are here on Christmas Day to a miserable

day without absolutely anything.

“WhenI moved into Greenfields it was a new and empty building and so we took that into account but as time went on we realised nothing was going to change.

“Aldwyck have done absolutely nothing for the residents in here and they try to take what little we have worked together away from us.

“A lot of the residents are really lovely but it is hard when Aldwyck instead of working with us to create a community, seem to knock us down at every hurdle.”

Another resident said there was a “huge division” between owners and social housing tenants.

A spokesman for Aldwyck Housing Group said: “We are sorry to hear about the concerns of some of our residents at Greenfields.

“The Greenfields Scheme Manager has recently taken up a new job at Aldwyck and interim management arrangements have been put in place to ensure service continuity. A letter was sent to residents at the beginning of this month to let them know.

“Aldwyck supports the efforts of residents to create a community spirit at Greenfields, including their plans for Christmas celebrations, and we carefully balance the requests that are made to us with our obligations as a responsible landlord.”

> Do you live there too? What’s your view? Email news@lbobserver.co.uk