RESIDENTS evacuated from a tower block following asbestos fears are being allowed to return home.

More than 100 tenants of Anderson Tower, in Motherwell, were told to quit their homes on Thursday after asbestos was disturbed during work by Scottish Power.

A clean-up operation of common areas and hallways started on Friday and continued through the weekend.

North Lanarkshire Council's Housing Operations Manager Stephen Llewellyn said: "Emptying an entire tower block within a few hours was unprecedented in the council's history and it is to the credit of all our residents that it was carried out so smoothly.

"Residents were accommodated in hotels and council properties. A number stayed with friends or relatives for the weekend.

"Housing and social work staff did their best to ensure those residents with special needs or medicinal care had their needs met.

"Meal and accommodation costs for those in hotels have been paid by ScottishPower's contractor.

"The decision to allow residents to return to their homes was taken only after the council was satisfied the building had been properly deep-cleaned and test results proved clear.

"Work has also been carried out to seal areas where asbestos was disturbed.

"The health and well-being of our residents was paramount and we fully appreciate their understanding during this disruption."

During the weekend, housing and social work staff carried out briefing sessions, personal visits and letter drops. All residents were provided with contact and out-of-hours telephone numbers in case they required further information.

The council's executive Director of Housing and Social Work, Duncan Mackay, added: "We prepare plans for almost every contingency in the hope they will never be required; this was one of those events.

"An investigation has already begun into the incident and it would be inappropriate for the council to discuss events leading to the decant."