Pensioner's row with Wigan Council over flattened fence

The fence was flattened in winds at the end of last year.The fence was flattened in winds at the end of last year.
The fence was flattened in winds at the end of last year.
The town hall is being urged to carry out repair work at a tenant's property rather than leave him to foot the bill.

Bryn independent representative Steve Jones says he is shocked by the case involving a vulnerable pensioner living on Nostell Road in the ward.

The man originally approached Wigan Council late last year after his garden fence blew down in strong winds. But its housing department informed him that rear gardens are not covered in his tenancy agreement, leaving him responsible for it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Coun Jones says the man is in no fit state to carry out the work himself and should not have to fork out the large bill either.

The case has attracted a fair bit of attention, with the resident’s local MP and the borough’s branch of a leading charity also taking up the cause. For its part the council has pledged to work with everyone involved to bring about a satisfactory resolution.

Coun Jones said: “I think this is absolutely disgusting. We should be caring for our elderly and most vulnerable people.

“He is barely capable of leaving his house but has been told this is his responsibility. How can he put up a fence? He has also been quoted around £1,000 for the fence and work by a private company.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The council is a service not a business. Regardless of what its protocol is it should be about showing a caring nature. I’m appalled the council has said it is wear and tear.”

The Wigan Post understands Age UK Wigan is extremely concerned about the case and one of its advocates has been representing the resident. But the charity declined to discuss the matter further.

Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue has also had the issue brought to her attention.

She said: “I understand that Mr Jones has raised the issue of the collapsed border fence and overhanging tree branches with the council directly but still awaits a resolution to the matter. I have written to the council on his behalf and currently await a response.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The local authority said ordinarily it would only take responsibility for back garden fences if it backed onto open land or was part of an improvement scheme. That would mean the resident and his neighbour would be jointly responsible for it.

But the local authority is looking further into the matter.

Environment director Paul Barton said: “We are working with the tenant to ensure this issue is resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. We will ensure the resident is kept informed throughout the process.”