Wheelchair user from Welwyn Garden City vents anger at council over lack of repairs

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 August 2020

Ken Hurrell outside his Welwyn Garden City home a few years ago. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Ken Hurrell outside his Welwyn Garden City home a few years ago. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Mia Jankowicz

A Welwyn Garden City wheelchair user has repeatedly complained to the council over the lack of repairs to his floor but has not had any action taken since his report in October 2019.

A car has almost blocked the dropped kerb, making it difficult for Ken to pass. Picture: Mia JankowiczA car has almost blocked the dropped kerb, making it difficult for Ken to pass. Picture: Mia Jankowicz

Ken Hurrell, who is in his 70s, reported the broken tiles to Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council in October and has found it difficult ever since to use his kitchen safely.

He said: “I’m sick of this. What do they expect me to do?”

“I think they just want me to move out and shut up.”

The Crookhams resident has previously complained to the council that WGC is not fit for those in the disabled community and has pointed out that the pedestrian kerb dips are not low enough to safely go to the shops – a Hertfordshire County Council responsibility.

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In 2018, he led councillors on a tour of how the pedestrians paths are not fit for purpose and felt he was promised some action on this issue.

In response a WHBC spokeswoman said: “We visited Mr Hurrell twice since October to make repairs at his property. As soon as it became clear that a new kitchen floor would better suit his needs, we made appointments to carry out this work. On both occasions we were unable to gain access to the property so have since scheduled a new appointment for the end of this month.

“We appreciate the difficulty Mr Hurrell has moving around outside of his home, and understand some of these issues have been raised with Herts County Council who are responsible for the layout and upkeep of the borough’s pavements.

“The shrubs and hedges in Mr Hurrell’s local area are maintained regularly to cut back growth and ensure pavements are not obstructed.

“We have also investigated a range of solutions for Mr Hurrell to help make it easier for him to access his property, including support to designate a disabled parking bay outside of his home. We’d be very happy to continue our discussions with Mr Hurrell around these options.”

It should also be worth noting that, according to an FOI request made by the WHT, the date between work issued and completed by the council has decreased in recent years and remains less than 15 working days.

In 2017, it was around 14 days on average between date issued and date completed, in 2018 this fell to around 13 and in 2019 it went up slightly to 14.


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