No closure for Falkirk residents in doors row

The entrance doorway in Derwent Avenue which council officials claim has been replaced''Picture: Michael Gillen
The entrance doorway in Derwent Avenue which council officials claim has been replaced''Picture: Michael Gillen

Unhappy residents have hit out at plans to install new doors in their homes – and land them with a £2500 bill.

Falkirk Council’s proposal for controlled entry systems in blocks of flats and maisonettes is to meet Scottish housing standards.

But the work appears to be upsetting owner-occupiers, who have to pay a share of the bills. Several have questioned the costs involved and believe it is possible for it to be done cheaper.

Homes in Greenpark Drive, Polmont, are the latest to be notified the work will take place later this year.

One owner is so concerned about the proposed cost that he intends to sell his flat as he doesn’t believe they will be able to find the cash.

He said: “Does the council really want to make a family homeless or drive them into financial hardship so that they can install an overpriced and unnecessary door entry system in a block of flats?”

However, it would appear that the local authority doesn’t even know where it has already installed door entry systems.

Maisonettes in Derwent Avenue, Bantaskine, were amongst the first to be identified for the work in 2010. Four years later, the system in one block is operational – but has often been out-of-order – while in another it is fitted but doesn’t work and residents in two other blocks have heard nothing about the work.

Yet this week, a council spokesman told The Falkirk Herald: “All the blocks have been done.”

The spokesman said: “We are aware of one block in Derwent Avenue, where the new door entry system has been fitted, but we have been unable to gain access to one property to install the remaining handset, despite several attempts.

“This will continue to be progressed and, once the handset has been fitted, we will be able to activate the full system for use by the occupants of the whole block.”

Referring to the charges for the work, he added: “We have followed the correct procedure of involving tenants and home-owners when consulting over communal repairs and if anyone has concerns regarding payments or charges, they can discuss them with their local housing office.

“The charges reflect the high standard of materials we have to use to comply with the legislation as well as the charges for labour. At this stage, the charges are only an estimation.”

The work is to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard which has a target of work being completed by April next year.