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“A prisoner in her own home”

Sunday, October 28, 2001

Joan Carson, from Woodseats is a prisoner in her own home thanks to Sheffield City Council’s refusal to build her a ramp for her scooter.


This week sees the anniversary of the first visit by the Council to consider ramping the footpath near the Carson’s home and Joan is now so desperate that she is going “public” to try to force the Council to act.


Joan, who has a wheel chair as a result of angina, asthma and chronic back pain, applied to the Council for aids and adaptations last year. She was delighted when the Social Services department assessed her needs and told her she was an “urgent priority”. They subsequently provided her with a stair lift and made considerable alterations to her bathroom.


However, when a different department of the City Council (Planning, Transport and Highways) were asked to install a ramp for her, so that she could actually get in and out of her now adapted home unassisted, she was told that there was no money for it. The Head of Highways division, Alex Kyle wrote “I am limited in my ability to assist deserving individuals because of the lack of available budgets.”


In desperation Mrs Carson and her husband Terry called on Meg Munn MP for help.


Meg, Labour MP for Sheffield Heeley, minced no words when she contacted the Council, telling them “…it does not make sense for one part of the Council to be spending significant amounts of money adapting a house, while a budget problem in another means effectively Mrs Carson will be a prisoner in her home. I am sure you can appreciate how nonsensical this situation appears.”


Meg went on to say “I do not find it acceptable that Mrs Carson should be unable to get out on her own. I did point this out to the Council before the alterations in the house started, but they went ahead anyway.”


Unfortunately the Council responded by repeating that there wasn’t enough money in the budget.


Mrs Carson meanwhile remains dependent for her mobility on her husband Terry who himself has osteo-arthritis of the spine.


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