Cold comfort for Kelty pensioner 'too young' for SOS call-out
A WEST FIFE grandmother, who suffers from arthritis and osteoporosis, was left without heating and hot water for two days.
Margaret Reid (70) says she was told by Fife Council that she would have to be 77 before she was entitled to qualify for an emergency call-out.
After Mrs Reid, of Mossgreen Street, Kelty, had to endure the cold day and night, her granddaughter slammed the way the council had handled the matter.
The heating system broke down around 5pm on Sunday 4th March and wasn't repaired until the Tuesday morning.
Mrs Reid said afterwards, "It was absolutely freezing on the Sunday night.
"There's no gas fire or electric fire to put on when the heating breaks down.
"It's ridiculous to have rules like this.
"You're a pensioner when you're 60 or 65 for men and that should be that.
"We were sitting here watching the telly with housecoats on top of our clothes."
Granddaughter Michelle Jones said, "When we contacted the council they advised that it was not an emergency as she was under 77-years-old but she is 70-years-old and suffers from arthritis and osteoporosis and the cold is not good for these conditions."
She contacted local councillor Alex Rowley and asked, "I would be grateful for any assistance you can offer as it is really cold in her house at the moment.
"I feel that the way they have dealt with this matter is disgraceful because you cannot assess the importance of a situation based on someone's age."
Councillor Rowley said, "This lady is a loyal council tenant of 70 years of age who has illness that is not helped by the cold."
He contacted council chief Ronnie Hinds to say, "The last two nights have been very cold, going below freezing, and yet no-one seems to be bothered that this lady of 70 has been left without any heating.
"I think that no matter who it was they should have had a response from the housing service but for a lady of 70-years-old to be left with no heating and no-one come near in this cold weather I find completely unacceptable."
After the heating was finally repaired, Fife Council housing senior manager Alan Russell said, "We're very sorry that Mrs Reid has been left in any discomfort, this should not have happened and one of our engineers fixed her heating on Tuesday morning.
"If someone is left without any heating at all, our engineers should be on site within 24 hours and it's also standard practice to offer a loan of electric fan heaters, which the council would pay for.
"We're investigating why this didn't happen on this occasion and we will either provide staff more training or alter our procedures so that this doesn't happen again.
"I'm glad Councillor Rowley brought this to our attention so that we could fix the problem."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Mar 16, 14:03
With respect it was 8C min over the weekend over till Tuesday and we have had the the mildest winter in decades. It was not freezing. The pensioner or her concerned children and grandchildren could have went out and bought a heater for less than £10 or less. But no, she/they decided to expect that the council do everything immediately and would rather go cold than spend their own money. It is that is bad in this story, not the council taking less than 2 working days to fix a heater. Am sure someone will bleet in saying that the women worked since she was 16 and has some sort of 'right' to immediate help but that is what her family is for, not the council. He family should be shamed here and not the council.
Recommend? Yes 69 No 6
Mar 16, 16:30
The people of Fife have a long memory Alex from when you 'ran' Fife Council. Perhaps you could remind us of the cut-backs to the call-out service (and numerous other services) made during Liebour's disasterous local reign?
Not to worry though Alex, not long now until the May elections tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock.......................
Isn't it strange how these people come out of the woodwork for any publicity possible, just before an election??????
Recommend? Yes 27 No 8
Mar 16, 22:46
And what comfort does a fan heater give? The costs to run these to heat a small space is ludicrous. I hope you , DunfermlineEast never get blighted with either of the medical conditions the lady in questions have. To have constant crippling pains in your joints and the cold makes them worse. I can assure you that everyone i know had there heating on during those days at night. I am also quite surprised the Mr Rowley failed to mention that this is not the first time he has had to deal with the exact same situation. Seeming the council were going to be updating their staff months ago about how to deal with these call types. They must have forgot!
Recommend? Yes 6 No 32
Mar 16, 23:19
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Mar 17, 01:50
Mar 17, 19:29
@dunfermline east what a first class plonker you are!!!!!!!!!!
i can only presume that you are won of the many great fife council workers "chuckle chuckle" pull the poker oot yer hole and gi the woman a break she asked for a simple repair from her landlord which should have been carried out as an emergency repair end of!! the way youre going on you would think she asked them to roll over and fart mars bars.........brrrrrr its cawld the nicht
Recommend? Yes 8 No 36
Mar 17, 21:39
When my heating breaks down I phone a call centre and they come usually within 48 hours ,this does not seem that different . Why was "granny" not put up by concerned family ,one of them could have given up their warm house for her and moved in to her home if so concerned .Usual case of somebody else is to blame.
Recommend? Yes 38 No 6
Mar 18, 15:12
The sad fact here is the council do not have the staff due to the cutbacks we have seen under this SNP/LIBDEM run coalition.Johnnyboy1 please get your facts correct.Fact more council jobs have been lost in the the last 5 years than that of any time the council administration was under the control of Labour.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 21
Mar 18, 17:33
A typical response from a "ma grandfaither and ma faither voted labour aw their days so ah'll dae the same" Liebour supporter. Dear oh dear oh dear......
Logster my friend, if your memory is that bad, ask your precious Clr Rowley what happened to this very service (and numerous other vital public services) during the time when he 'ran' Fife Council and then post his response on here for us all to chuckle loudly at. I won't hold my breath though :-)
You will be aware that Liebour have lost control of Glasgow City Council during the past few days I assume? A major blow for this West of Scotland/Westminster mob. Also a by-election in Falkirk when Joyce does the decent thing and steps down as a MP? A well-deserved party meltdown I predict. Taxi for Lamont!!!
Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock........................................................Not long now until May ;-)
Recommend? Yes 22 No 7
Mar 18, 22:25
Johnnyboy to start with i am not your friend,as I have already said Fife has lost more jobs under the present administration than ever before.This story has nothing to do with Glasgow or Eric Joyce.However when you mention by-election when will the alleged wife beater Bill Walker be standing down and calling a by-election here.Would you like tell me some of the good things the Snp have done in Fife.
Recommend? Yes 6 No 15
Mar 19, 09:02
logster my friend, rather than continue to go over the failings of Liebour in Fife, why don't we wait for a response from the usual 'Press regulars, Messrs Rowley, Eadie, Docherty, etc etc etc?
Just a thought..............
Recommend? Yes 16 No 4
Mar 19, 17:24
- Whitehall officials reported that electricity prices today are 15% more expensive because of the Government's ''green policies'' which add green taxes imposed by the EU and Westminster.
One standard sized wind turbine gets £250,000 in subsidy annually, paid by the energy user, for every £150,000 of electricity generated.
Now calculate. If the subsidies on the existing 3500 wind turbines in the UK add 15% to energy bills, and in order to meet ''cloud cuckoo-land'' emission reduction targets we need to build at least another 20,000 wind turbines, how much will our electricity bills need to rise?
Next calculate to the nearest million how many families will be forced into ''fuel poverty'' as a result of these renewables subsidies.
Finally calculate how many more manufacturing companies will either move abroad or go into liquidation because of escalating electricity prices.
One does not need to be a mathematician to see that renewables subsidies are unsustainable and will bankrupt the UK, especially an independent Scotland.Worth thinking about
Recommend? Yes 5 No 13
Mar 22, 19:43
You can see from the number of "recommends" above just what people think of this. Fife council has plenty to do without prioritising families who are too tight-fisted or plain dumb to do a hand's turn for themselves. How much effort would it have been to buy a small fan heater, and just how much would it have cost to run even if it had been left on 24 hours a day for the couple of days involved? There are folk around with real needs for the council to worry about.
Recommend? Yes 13 No 0
Mar 28, 21:34
Mar 29, 23:04
the lady should have just moved into local council building, they are always warm from 9am till closing time and refuse to move, and if they threatened her with the police phone a national paper bet they would have got the fault fixed SOS but as has been said where was the family,to allow granny to suffer shame on them
Recommend? Yes 4 No 0