SHELTERED housing residents have welcomed the “beautiful, wonderful" High Court decision that cutting residential wardens services was unlawful.

David Young, chairman of the UK Pensions Strategy Committee which has led the campaign against the cuts, said: “I think it's a fantastic decision, a beautiful, wonderful decision.

"People are jumping for joy. I've been getting phonecalls from all over Barnet, they can't stop thanking me, I say it's not me it's my solicitor.”

Mr Young, a sheltered housing tenant of Kingsley Court in Tayside Avenue, Edgeware said he doubted if the council would go ahead with an appeal.

“It would cost the taxpayer thousands. But if they're so arrogant as they have been they might.”

Sheltered housing tenants brought a joint claim with another tenant from Portsmouth against both Barnet and Portsmouth Councils in the High Court at the beginning of this month.

They are only the first in 50 such claims.

Solicitor Yvonne Hossack, who has taken on the case of thousands of residents countrywide, said the decision could have far reaching impications for councils across Britain.

Monty Share, 82, also of Kingsley Court, moved into sheltered accommodation two years ago after suffering a stroke.

“It's been a worry on my mind for a long time because without a warden it would be difficult for me. I was told that I was going into a warden controlled flat but that wasn't true was it. They've broken their promises.

“The warden we've got here, Desmond, he's fantastic. It's like having another part of my family here.

“On two occasions I've been taken bad and had to go to hospital. The warden came running up with a first aid box and rung an ambulance.

“If there was no warden there how would I have got to hospital?”

Many residents say their wardens help them with far more than just the call out care detailed under the changes the council made.

They say wardens help with everything from benefits to looking after their properties if they spend time away or in hospital.

Mr Share said his block has had problems with heating this week and residents were told it would not be fixed before Christmas Eve.

Their warden pushed for a quicker response and the heating has been fixed.