West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is calling for greater dignity and respect for disabled, elderly and vulnerable council tenants requiring adaptations to their homes.
MP Rosie has been dealing with two cases of elderly council tenants who are being refused adaptations on the basis that they are under occupied, thereby coercing them to move to smaller properties instead. One constituent has not been able to have a bath since November as she cannot get up the stairs to the bathroom.
In both cases the council tenants have been assessed by occupational therapy as needing support in their homes, such as grab rails and walk-in shower facilities and stair lifts.
The members of the Housing Adaptations panel are an Administrative Support Officer, Programmes Works Manager, Housing Needs and Allocations Manager and two Occupational Therapists and they are refusing to allow the works to go ahead.
MP Rosie said
“I find the lack of dignity and respect the Borough Council has shown towards these two tenants and goodness knows how many others is shameful.
“To refuse to provide essential adaptations in the homes of elderly tenants whilst trying to force them out of the security of the home they know and feel comfortable in is scandalous.
“I have written to the new leader of the Borough Council, Ian Moran, calling on him to intervene and review these two specific cases which will help inform the council in reviewing their current policy.
“It is my understanding that it is a group of council officers who sit on the Housing Adaptations Panel who are making these decisions which are causing great distress and upset for elderly tenants. For them to do so without any clear scrutiny and accountability is unacceptable.
“The lack of care and respect shown to these two constituents just demonstrates how the current system is not fit for purpose. It’s time for a change and to give these elderly constituents their dignity and independence back.”
Currently West Lancashire Borough Council is consulting on its Adaptations for Disabled Council Tenants Policy. MP Rosie has written to the leader of the council calling for them to consider the dignity and respect of tenants ahead of what is cheaper and easier for the Borough Council.