Son’s anger at elderly mother’s injury

Margaret Reid
Margaret Reid

A WIGAN man has blasted a company refurbishing pensioners’ flats after his elderly mother sustained a serious leg injury tripping over a toolbox left out by careless workmen.

Margaret Reid, 81, had to endure around three weeks of disruption at her flat in Nightingale Court, just off Gidlow Lane, after contractors Penny Lane Builders were told to refurbish the bathroom of the properties owned by Arena Housing.

In the most serious incident Mrs Reid, who has difficulties with her sight and mobility, tripped over a toolbox which was left in the corridor with the lid open, sustaining a deep gash to her leg.

Her son Tony has launched a stinging criticism of the standard of work, branding the renovation programme completely disorganised and attacking the attitude of the workmen carrying out the refurbishment.

He says workmen have left the house covered in debris, altered the settings on the flat’s heating system without returning it to the original settings, and almost caused a second fall by leaving a carpet protector uncovered.

He also said an official overseeing the work had told his mother she should be more careful when informed of the toolbox incident.

Tony, 51, said: “I was away when the accident happened but when I saw her a few days later she said she’d hurt her leg. I took a look and was absolutely horrified.

“No-one’s bothered to ring to check on her, and when someone from Arena did come to her flat they just gave her a customer satisfaction survey. These are all vulnerable people and they have a duty of care to them.

“She also nearly tripped because they’d put a protector down as the carpet was curling. If I hadn’t fitted a grab rail in the hallway she would have gone flat on her face.

“I work in the industry myself as a project manager and if I’d been in charge of this job I know I would have been sacked. It’s been absolute chaos. After the first day of work my mother had to put her hand down the toilet because it was so blocked by rubbish and debris.

“They’ve missed days and not bothered to inform her that they are not coming, meaning she’s sat in the house all day waiting and not been able to go out, and she’s been cold because they’ve switched the radiators off in the bathroom and not put them back on. She’s been traumatised by all the disruption as she didn’t want the work doing in the first place.”

Tony says this is not the first time he has complained about work in the flat, after he was unhappy with the fitting of a new kitchen last year.

He is also extremely unhappy about his communication with Arena, saying no-one at the organisation has responded for his numerous requests to discuss the case, and is now seeking legal advice.

Arena Housing was approached for comment, but had not replied as the Wigan Evening Post went to press.