Furious Aberfeldy residents are being asked by council officers to pay for repairs at a neglected council housing block which will not address a crumbling stairwell.
Churchill Court’s private residents are being billed £700 to give the block of flats a face-lift.
However, according to a letter posted at the start of the month, the scheduled repairs do not feature any urgently-needed upgrades to the row’s dilapidated stairwell and bin shed.
Despite calls for the local authority to repair the crumbling block, the houses have been left with little substantial structural work to their access point since being built around 50 years ago.
In the past few years, a window which caved in at the top of the concrete staircase has been covered with chipboard. The rotten wooden beam which supported the glass is still lying on the bin shelter’s roof, years after it fell.
Meanwhile, the building itself has succumbed to the elements and sizeable rifts in the brickwork around the flight of steps are now clearly visible and shoddy paintwork from decades ago has been visibly afflicted by damp. Residents have been told they should have a security door but this is still to be installed.
Just over half of the block’s properties are understood to be council homes, with the remainder privately owned.
Perth and Kinross council has pledged to carry out cosmetic upgrades like painting gutters and handrails, as well as repairs to the concrete canopies that allow access to the flats, providing the homeowners choose to pay £699.50 to cover the work.
The letter read: “It’s in all our interests to keep our buildings in good shape so that our homes are safe and dry.
“From time to time, this means doing repairs and maintenance to the parts of the building that are shared by everyone.
“Perth and Kinross Council have carried out a survey and assess that works are required. We now have full details and costs.”
Private homeowners now need to vote on the improvement works before the end of the month. Council tenants did not receive the notice.
Taxi driver David MacDougall, who has lived in the flats for more than two decades, described the council’s lack of upkeep as “complete and utter neglect.”
He said: “The stairwell is cracked, the window is missing, the wood is rotten and it needs painted. The outside walls will collapse if they’re left like this.
“We wouldn’t have known about any works if we didn’t speak to each other.
“Market Street and Chapel Street have had upgrades, but we’re out of site and out of mind.”
Neighbour Gwen Dow shares these fears. “Nothing been done at all and other areas of lesser concern been upgraded.
“There’s no way this place would pass a health and safety inspection.”