Friday, 15 February 2013

Report on Home Visits by Assistant housing officer – Tenancies commencing Nov 1970

No of home visits = 112
Revisits = 19

Three names of Old Age Pensioners have been notified to the Livingston Old People’s Welfare Council and three people have expressed willingness to help in the delivery of Meals on Wheels. One lady has volunteered to assist an elderly person to cultivate their garden. This lady is a keen gardener but is now living in a flat. These offers of voluntary service have been passed on to LOPWC.
Livingston in the 1970s, many of the first residents moved to
Livingston from old Glasgow tenements and slum housing,
and to have perks such as private gardens and central heating was a novelty 

It is now obvious that a percentage of women work either part time of full time and that it is not possible to make contact with them during working hours. Perhaps evening visiting might be considered in appropriate cases.
The main complaints come from tenants in Bison flats who are “humbugged” by “dampness”. In most cases they are using their storage heaters properly and keeping their windows open slightly as they have been instructed – this does not seem to cure the trouble. The unheated bedrooms proves to be a source of trouble and tenants in some cases feel perplexed at having to provide extra heating. These cases were brought to the attention of the area housing officers.
There have been few criticisms this month but these are worth of note. One tenant pointed out that paint spattered over the woodwork is almost impossible to clean off (this applies mainly to thresholds) and that it is seemed a pity to spoil a new house by such poor quality painterwork. This must be the sentiment (if not expressed, certainly thought) by all housewives. Low fencing seems to create difficulties where people own dogs and there have been requests for permission to erect higher fences at the tenant’s own expense. One tenant suggested that the disinfectant used in washing the flooring in the Mall might be changed for one which is not like that used in public conveniences!

Planning for the Almondvale Shopping Centre. Craigshill is the residential
area seen in the background, much of the foreground has now
been developed into housing and commercial property.
For over twenty years there was constant construction
in Livingston and the landscape changed considerably.

It would appear that there is a shortage of jobs for the under twenties as well as part-time work for women and according to tenants, the Department of Employment & Productivity hold out very little hope of any immediate improvement. Two cases of men having given up their jobs to move to Livingston came to light. This could be a mounting problem with all its attendant difficulties.
Three homes were revisited because the assistant housing officer considered on her first visit that the women were unsettled and depressed. She is glad to report they all seem to be much happier mainly because they have now made contact with neighbours and have someone to chat to.
Once again, it seems obvious that people are doing their best to make a good life for themselves in the town despite the lack of the usual amenities tenants have been accustomed to in established communities. Children seem very happy at school and the Ladywell parents easier in their minds about the transport problem with the opening in the near future of the Howden School.

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