A pane in the wallet for window fix

Francis Shannon
Francis Shannon

A WIGAN man is furious he has been hit with a bill for more than £120 for fixing a small pane of glass.

When Francis Shannon locked himself out of his council-rented home in Kirkstone, Norley, he was forced to enlist the help of the police to smash a glass panel, 18cm by 29cm, on his front door.

As a contractor from Mears boarded up and replaced the glass, he was sent a bill for more than £126, which included £45.14 for the reglaze; £33.38 for the boarding up; £26.54 admin and £21 VAT.

The 63-year-old was shocked at the amount he has been asked to pay, especially as he was quoted between £40 and £50 plus VAT for the reglaze at a firm in Pemberton. This did not include the boarding up, which the dad-of-four had done himself.

Francis, a qualified electrician, said: “I agree that I have to pay the bill as it was my fault, but I do not understand why the council has charged so much. The guy who came twice was only here for 15 minutes at a time.

“I can’t afford to pay the bill because I am on benefits. And why is there an admin charge?”

Janice Barton, director of strategy at Wigan and Leigh Housing, said: “A condition of tenancy is that occupants pay for the damage they cause to their home. Mr Shannon could have arranged for someone else to carry out the work, but chose not to. It is only fair to other tenants he be recharged for the full cost, which in this case involved two separate visits.

“The repairs contracts are tendered to achieve competitive prices. Costs cannot be directly compared on the basis of a one off job with a local company.”