Homely atmosphere is not allowed at Arun sheltered housing

A visitor to council flats in North Bersted has accused housing officers of being killjoys.

Clifford Smith said the officials had made the residents of Olivier Court remove all the accessories in the building’s halls.

“It now resembles an institution rather than a pleasant residence,” he said. “I guess this is some health and safety thing but, surely, someone has taken this a bit too literally.”

Olivier Court in Chichester Road is an Arun District Council-run sheltered housing scheme

Mr South, of Whitfield Close, Bognor, complained to the Observer last Christmas about the council’s Scrooge-like approach to festive decorations.

“Do they have something against these elderly folk?” he said. “Now, it seems everything in the entrance hall and corridors has had to go too.

“This includes the pictures on the walls and the potted plants that add a homely touch and which stood on the little shelves above the meter cupboards outside every flat’s front door.

“This also includes the seating by the lift so there is nowhere for the more frail to sit or wait for the lift or even for a taxi.”

A council spokeswoman said risk assessments had been carried out for all Arun’s sheltered housing schemes after advice from the fire and rescue service.

“As a result, the building has had its corridors cleared of objects in the flight of fire areas.

“The council understands the removal of two chairs from the entrance corridor has caused particular concern to some residents. However, their safety must come first.

“The chairs have been relocated to the top floor, where there is an area which does not pose a fire safety risk. Residents of the 23 flats can also sit up on the first floor of the building.

“Seats have been placed there in another area, by the lift, which also does not pose a fire safety risk.”