Craigshill and Deans
This month I had a four day absence from work and consequently visited 138 tenants, 49 of these being new to the town, the rest included in two surveys we are carrying out at present. The surveys brought me into contact with many people I might not otherwise have met until some distant future date and about 80% of these people had problems they wished to discuss – mostly relatively minor and easily dealt with, never-the-less this slowed down both the survey and the visiting of new tenants.
The foremost problem of the month came from Deans where tenants are awaiting with trepidation the arrival of their electricity bills. [A tenant] and friend from two doors away drew my attention to this, though others followed. In [the tenant’s ] case, the Electricity Board representative had called and explained that she would need to pay £14 per month to run her heating (electricity warm air system) which only heats the lower regions of the house. Upstairs she has one night storage heater and the Electricity Board Rep warned her that she was better not to use this as the monthly payment would have to be higher still. [The Tenant] is in a five apartment house, so far the seven apartments in the area have not come to my attention as they have not been let. [Another tenant] has the same system with just one storage heater upstairs which certainly does not heat the whole upper floor, she tells me her bill is going to top £50 for 3 months (and the house has not really been warm) since she has read her meter weekly and then calculated the cost. She is a very worried woman, as are others I spoke to.
I am still in some doubt as to who is responsible for elderly people and disabled people’s gardens. When Councillor Duggan raised this matter at a recent Old Peoples’ Welfare Committee meeting he was told LDC would investigate, although when I raised the question Mr Leitch concerning a tenant on Melbourne Street, and his garden I was told that this was a matter for Mr Drummond who in turn told me the matter was a question for the property department of the LDC. Perhaps it would be possible to raise the questions – could disabled persons have their invalid carriages garaged at a cheaper rate? These small contraptions appear to be a target for petrol pilferers and hooligans looking for something ot damage and they are of course a necessity in the life of these crippled people.
A tenant on Brisbane street has at last succumbed to the efforts of Mr Leitch and myself and has ‘cleaned’ up her house. The house is still very iffused, full of condensation and dirty but in comparison to last we week we had to admit there had been some improvement. She also paid a further £10 off her rent arrears.
Arrangements have been made with Miss Sill for one of her visitors to call on a [named tenant] in the evenings to help ease her loneliness problems.
A tenant on Spruce Grove has been supplied with a wardrobe and dressing table since she was short of these two articles and has a big family, she is trying very hard to please us.
The most problematic case in Craigshill is that of XXXX. In six months she has only paid £21 rent and with legal fees now owes us £70. I have taken her into the Mall office to discuss the situation with Mr Leitch but her story is very incomprehensible. It appears her husband is... [away] and hasn’t been sending her money. Throughout the six months that I have visited the girl I have not heard a really coherent version of what is going on and I rather think there is some dire marital difficult here. She has a baby, her house is very clean and well furnished. Mr Leitch and I are awaiting the outcome of our conversation with her which ended in her saying she would try to pay us £41 these weekend the 2nd March 1973.
Throughout the past months I have been trying to forestall this situation by calling on her because I felt there was going to be a problem here, she does not appear to fully realise her financial predicament, or alternatively she is so worried by the circumstances that the financial problem is insignificant. I am worried about what is going to happen here.
There have been problems with newcomers in Craigshill this month, one a hysterical woman with shattered nerves – I called in the Doctor and she was given tranquilisers with good effect, I am calling regularly to see her meantime. The other problem was marital difficulties for [a named tenant]. This problem could be sorted out now after a long talk with her, she has our card and phone number in order to contact me should things not run smoothly.
Since the appearance in the evening papers of the names and addresses of the people responsible for letting their dogs run loose and the fact that they were fined, this has resulted in a few less dog roaming about the town. How long this improved situation will last is a mute point.