Rosie Cooper MP has slammed West Lancashire Borough Council for a thoughtless approach to its kitchen replacement scheme, after elderly council tenants in Moorgate, Ormskirk, were told to unplug and move all kitchen appliances in readiness for work that didn’t take place.
The West Lancashire MP reports that residents were asked to remove items like fridge freezers, cookers and washing machines from their kitchens and were given individual dates for the start of the much needed work to replace their kitchens.
Sadly, the work did not go ahead on that date, leaving the mostly pensioner aged residents of Moorgate angry and frustrated as their appliances had already been disconnected and moved to other rooms of their bungalows.
Residents were left even more confused after contacting both the council and the contractors Liberty, as neither could say when the works would take place, and both suggested the other were the reason for the delay.
Rosie Cooper MP commented:
“This is outrageous! It is utterly ridiculous that WLBC expects elderly and infirm residents to be moving heavy items once, never mind back and forth!
“When the contractors didn’t show up to undertake the work at his home, my constituent Samuel Warmington, who lives on Moorgate, was sharing his living room with his fridge freezer and his microwave. As he intended to replace his cooker, that was disconnected and put outside, so there was no chance of reinstalling it to cook meals.
“The Council clearly has a big communication problem, if neither they nor the contractors could tell the residents exactly what was happening! When I questioned the council about this, they maintained that the elderly residents had been told in advance that the kitchens wouldn’t be fitted on the due date.
“My constituents strongly dispute that – Mr Warmington told me that he received a call a day before the work was due to start, to confirm that it would be going ahead. He then didn’t hear from the council until I intervened on his behalf!
“Another resident of Moorgate, whose work was due to begin on 15 November, told Rosie she got a call on the 15th to say that they may be a few hours late. She then got another call at 4pm saying the kitchen wasn’t actually ready to be installed. This lady now has her microwave on the coffee table and kettle on the floor! Days later, the contractors have now arrived and work has begun. She has been told it will take about ten days.
“My constituent expressed dismay at the length of time the work would take saying ‘They can do much bigger jobs in a few days so I don’t understand why this will take this long. Haven’t they seen 60 Minute Makeover?’
“West Lancashire Borough Council need to improve their communications with their tenants and contractors and learn from this fiasco. There really isn’t any excuse as this is planned, scheduled work and problems should be immediately communicated to tenants to minimise the disruption and inconvenience. Leaving the elderly in these conditions cannot be considered safe.”