MS sufferer

MISUNDERSTANDING has landed MS sufferer Barbara Colville a prisoner in her own home. She longs for the day when she can go out her bungalow and tend her garden.

By Amanda Cresswell

MISUNDERSTANDING has landed MS sufferer, Barbara Colville, a prisoner in her own home.

She longs for the day when she can get out of her bungalow and tend her garden.

Instead the wheelchair user struggles to get out of her back door because her doorway isn't wide enough.

Mrs Colville had alterations last year worth more than £2,500 on improvements, but claims a misunderstanding has meant her door-frame remained untouched.

Babergh District Council have said the 57-year-old was offered a wider doorway to outside, but turned it down. Mrs Colville, from East Mill Green, Bentley, in turn, is sure this isn't the case.

Most Read

The partially sighted former accountant who lives in a privately owned property inherited from her late mother, said: "I haven't gone out of this house properly for about five years.

"There were things that I would love to see down at the shop, but I can't get out. The back door is just not wide enough. I have had a new door, but the frame is still the same.

"Although I can get the wheelchair through I scrape my hands and I just can't get back in again.

"I find myself pushing and pushing and can't push hard enough to get back through. I am stuck outside, literally. I have phoned up about it several times and spoken to several people about it, but it is like banging your head against a brick wall."

A Babergh District Council spokesman said Babergh were pleased to spend about £2,500 on a Disabled Facilities Grant to make a number of improvements to Mrs Colville's house.

"In this case, as in all such cases Babergh spends a great deal of time ensuring that the client is happy with the proposed improvements," he said.

"During that 'audit' period, Mrs Colville was adamant that she did not want her backdoor widened. Babergh cannot force clients to accept modifications they do not want.

"We are sorry that Mrs Colville appears to have changed her mind.

"Because of the limited amount of grant money available for these works, it is unlikely that Babergh could now widen the door frame in the near future without having an impact on other similar improvements."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter