Ridgeview row

PUBLISHED: 10:50 10 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 06 May 2010

SIR – Re: your article on November 12, University takes over former homeless hostel on year-long lease as council puts sale of site on hold . It quoted: Cllr Donald did not accept that homeless tenants could have been kept in the building if the money w

SIR - Re: your article on November 12, 'University takes over former homeless hostel on year-long lease as council puts sale of site on hold'.

It quoted: "Cllr Donald did not accept that homeless tenants could have been kept in the building if the money was not needed urgently for the Westminster Lodge scheme."

He said: "Shared accommodation is not suitable for homeless families and Government guidelines dictate that independent units should be sought to re-house (all) people. When Ridgeview was full homeless families 15 and lone individuals 67."

An article in the Guardian, which anyone interested can of course Google, contains: "Around 200 funerals a month are unattended, a figure set to rise as it is estimated that, by 2010, 16 million people in the UK will live on their own.

"Where no relatives can be traced, the local authority pays for a basic cremation. Often the deceased's ashes are disposed of in unmarked graves."

During my first week at Ridgeview I was invited to attend a funeral for a resident. Indeed, all senior residents at Ridgeview felt they were not living alone, but in a collaborative community.

As a many-years former resident at Ridgeview I am puzzled that the local Conservative politicians were not interviewed for this article. Cllr Dave Winstone, MP Anne Main and others at their London Colney offices were politically advocating support for the residents' community that Cllr Donald has now dismantled. In contrast to the St Albans Conservatives we seem to have Lib-Dems being New New Labour.

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