TENANTS in sheltered housing on Portland are up in arms after being told their Christmas decorations had to be removed.

Aster Living, which runs Ladymead Hall, in Easton, told tenants to take down some of the decorations as a safety precaution.

Pat Swales, a tenant of 11 years, said staff turned up at the building out of the blue and asked for streamers and electrical lights to be taken down.

She said: “They didn’t come to us first and say, ‘we will have a meeting to discuss health and safety aspects’. They just came up with the fire brigade and said, ‘They have to come down’. They were only paper decorations but you would have to have been six foot to get near them anyway.

“Decorating this place has been going on for 20 years.

“It’s the way they have gone and done it. They could have had the decency to come and ask us first.”

Light features were also removed from a tree on the basis they were not PAT tested.

Pat said: “We know they were because we just bought them.

“It’s Christmas two weeks of the year. We sit out there and talk about the lights and how pretty they are.

“A lot of our tenants don’t go anywhere for Christmas. A lot of them have got no families and this is the only thing they have got. It’s not fair.”

George Newton, another tenant, was responsible for putting up the decorations upstairs. He said: “I’m not fit but I get up and do what I can every year.

“We have done this for 12 years and I’ve never had a complaint. We are like a family here. We enjoy doing it.”

Rosemary Garrington said tenants made their own fun at the accommodation.

She said: “Everybody puts decorations up at Christmas in their homes. What makes us different?”

A spokesman for the Aster Group said: “We can confirm we’ve removed some Christmas decorations from the communal area at Ladymead Hall, Portland, for fire safety reasons.

“We had made customers aware any decorations which presented a fire safety risk would be removed. We’ve been working closely with the tenant representatives from all our schemes since September to clarify how and which decorations could be used in communal areas.

“Following a risk assessment, we identified some decorations at Ladymead which didn’t meet the required fire safety standards and they were taken down.

“The safety and well-being of all our customers is always our top priority. We also work closely with the local fire and rescue service to ensure we remain compliant with current fire safety legislation.”