BLACK Cats vice-chairman David Miliband paid a surprise visit to pensioners at a housing scheme.
The former Foreign Secretary, who is also MP for South Shields, enjoyed a cuppa with residents at East Croft, in Whitburn, keeping a promise he made a year ago.
Wecoming them to the 30 apartments and 20 bungalows when it was completed, he said he would revisit the facitily in 12 months.
On his return, he was taken on a tour of the homes, giving him the opportunity to find out how the residents were settling in.
Among those meeting Mr Miliband were Councillor Peter Boyack, who lives in one of the bungalows, and Coun Tracey Dixon, who was instrumental in bringing about the new development.
Mr Miliband said: “I was delighted to visit East Croft again.
“It is great that such a new development has a warm community spirit.
“The residents I met love their new homes and the fact that they have a library, shops and a fantastic coastline right on their doorstep.”
Claire Charlton, locality manager for Housing 21, said Mr Miliband was given a warm welcome.
“We are very pleased that David Miliband has been able to visit East Croft again. It is a delightful scheme,” she said.
“We’re very proud of it and I’m sure the residents feel the same.”
East Croft, which was constructed by Keepmoat, has key safety and security facilities, including a secure door entry system with intercom to every apartment, a pull-cord emergency call system and a full-time scheme manager.
The development also has landscaped gardens and seating areas, a laundry room and a guest bedroom that can be let for short stays by family members and friends.