THE news that Anchor Hanover are demanding that pensioners at Guardian Court, Clifton pay £2,500 each to replace the old fire alarm equipment is totally unreasonable (The Press, August 5). These tenants already pay a significant annual fee for maintenance and service charges.

Anchor Hanover describes itself as a: "not-for-profit charitable organisation who don’t have any shareholders to pay dividends to, this means that we are able to reinvest the money we make into our retirement properties and care homes” .

We believe that residents at Guardian Court should expect to be safe in their own homes while avoiding enormous charges being thrust on them out of the blue.

Anchor Hanover stating these costs are "eligible to be charged to residents" is outrageous.

Many of the residents at Guardian Court are elderly, have limited incomes and do not have savings.

This charge is causing them a great deal of anxiety and worry about where they will find the money.

Tenants believed this essential safety equipment was included in the charges they already pay, and say they were not warned that they would be held responsible for additional costs.

We call on Anchor Hanover to do the right thing and drop these threats of extra charges for their tenants.

Cllr Danny Myers and Cllr Margaret Wells (Lab)

Clifton Ward, York

Too late to act on height of student blocks

PLANNING committee members rejecting increased height at Frederick House is a case of too little too late.

They should have stood up against officer recommendations in January when the original application was put before them.

That was the time to defend the scale of York and protect amenity of neighbours by telling planning officers they would not go along with excessive mega structures replacing an already sizeable three storey office building.

Unfortunately the principle of that student complex was accepted and in the context of the overall scheme a further 0.2 or 0.7 metres is of little consequence.

There are no certainties in the planning system but experience indicates that an appeal is most likely to be successful; and quite possibly with an award of costs against the council for unreasonable behaviour.

It is elected members who hold ultimate power under the Planning Acts, not paid employees of the council, and a majority of members should have asserted that authority when the student scheme was first presented to them for determination.

Councillors had legitimate planning reasons at that time to reject the application with grounds that could be argued and substantiated at appeal.

But having accepted a scheme of such enormity that is no longer the case. The changes are now trivial and if things go badly at appeal it will be York taxpayers who foot the bill.

Matthew Laverack,

Laverack Associates Architects,

Lord Mayor's Walk, York

"How much profit are supermarkets making anyway?"

I NOTICE that we are constantly bombarded on TV about the big four supermarkets comparing their prices with Aldi and Lidl.

This begs the question: if they can afford to drop their prices to match Aldi and Lidl, how much profit were they making before? Is this information they will willingly disclose? I doubt it.

Mick Horsman,

Moorland Road,


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