MOBILE wardens are to be piloted in Buckley as part of a major shake-up in the sheltered accommodation service.

Earlier this year Flintshire Council’s executive board voted to scrap the live-in warden role at sheltered housing complexes across the county and replace them with mobile wardens.

Following extensive consultation with tenants nine ‘hubs’ will be set up across Flintshire, each housing four to six members of staff, who will provide warden-based support to sheltered housing tenants and the wider community who need low-level assistance.

The first ‘hub’ will be trialled  in Buckley from November for six months, based at either Jubilee Court or the Coppa View sheltered housing complex.

Council chiefs are also hoping to trial the service in Mostyn in a bid to see how well it works in a rural community.

A report outlining details of the scheme will be presented to the council’s housing overview and scrutiny committee today.

The report by officer Dawn Kent states: “A six-month pilot of the community-based support service will be undertaken to objectively assess the robustness of all aspects of the improved service and to trial the expansion of the service to council tenants in general needs housing.”

When the idea was first suggested last year it came under fire from Labour councillors concerned about the effects of taking a live-in warden away from vulnerable tenants.

But council chiefs say tenants now support the changes.

The report adds: “The outcome from the consultations established that tenants held a very strong preference for their warden service to be developed into a community-based warden support service.

“Furthermore, tenants confirmed they held no concerns their support service would be adversely affected if their warden no longer lived on site.”

The new staffing structure will not result in job losses for employees working in the original service.