Disabled St Albans pensioner housebound for two years due to lack of ramp

St Albans City and District Council

St Albans City and District Council - Credit: Archant

A disabled pensioner has barely left his former council flat for the past two years because St Albans council refuses to pay for a ramp to be installed.

Wheelchair-bound Dennis Thurlow, who lives in a downstairs flat in Redbourn, maintains the council has trapped him in his home because he is unable to get out without a ramp.

He bought his flat from the council and said that when he applied for a ramp and a wet room to be installed, he was told he had too much money in his pension to warrant the council paying.

Dennis, 79, who used to work for Shell UK and has been disabled for the past five years, says he has only been out once in the past two years, He went on: “It is a downstairs flat but there is no way I can get out because the council has imprisoned me.

“They came over and saw me and said no way can we give you any of it unless you pay for it.”

He added: “I can’t get into the garden or village. I find it very difficult.”

Dennis has since paid himself for a wet room to be installed and maintains a ramp would cost less than £1,000.

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The council’s deputy head of community services, Debbi White, said the Council took its data protection responsibilities seriously and did not comment on individual applications for a disabled facilities grant.

She added: “All applications for grants are dealt with fairly and according to statutory rules on eligibility. There is also an appeals process for anyone who believes they have been wrongly turned down.”1