Festive nightmares for diabled tenants

THE festive period was ruined for two Mossend households due to plumbing problems — and they say it wasn't just the weather that was to blame.

Wheelchair user Jim Sellars, of Ella Gardens, was left without water from the Wednesday before Christmas until Boxing Day due to six burst pipes in his loft.

Meanwhile Margaret Wotherspoon, of nearby Hawthorn Gardens, who is a full-time carer for her mother Margaret who is in a wheelchair and her father Joseph who suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, has spent days 'trapped' in the house waiting for blocked drains to be cleared.

Jim said: "The same thing happened last year and when it was fixed it was checked by an inspector who told me it wouldn't happen again but one year on it has.

"In the early hours of Christmas Eve a pipe burst and flooded the kitchen which meant I had to phone my cousin at 4am to come round and turn off the water.

"I couldn't even cook and had to order a Chinese takeaway for my Christmas meal, it's just been a disaster."

The Wotherspoons have also experienced their problem before, but for Margaret, this time was the last straw.

She said: "It has been happening on and off for years and indeed the drains became blocked at the start of December and took 10 days to be cleared, so I couldn't believe it when it happened again on the 28th.

"If it was just myself it wouldn't be too bad but you can't have my parents being without a toilet or having raw sewage come up the plug hole."

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: ""Over the Christmas period alone we received over 1,000 calls taking the total number of repairs requested to over 7,000 since the bad weather began at the end of November.

"We are doing all we can to help our tenants by putting additional staff in place. However, the sheer volume of emergency repair calls means that it will take some time for us to deal with each property."

"There is no question the workers are trying their best, but the whole system just doesn't work and we're not being treated like human beings — just an inconvenience."

North Lanarkshire Council say the number of calls they received is the reason it took so long to fix Jim's pipes and will endeavour to find the root cause of Margaret's drainage problems as soon as possible.

A spokesperson said: "We have been inundated with burst pipe reports from our tenants.

"Over the Christmas period alone we received over 1,000 calls taking the total number of repairs requested to over 7,000 since the bad weather began at the end of November.

"We are doing all we can to help our tenants by putting additional staff in place. However, the sheer volume of emergency repair calls means that it will take some time for us to deal with each property.

"As for Hawthorn Gardens, we have instructed our contractor to carry out a full investigation of the drainage problems at the earliest opportunity.

"We will then carry out the necessary work to prevent further inconvenience."