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Eastbourne & Willingdon Lib Dems

Disabled Mum let down by Council

February 6, 2007 2:32 PM

Stephen Lloyd Langney picLangney mum Michelle Ruffold and her husband Carl feel they have not been treated fairly by Eastbourne Borough Council in their attempts to move to a more suitable house.

Mrs Ruffold, who is a wheelchair user, has one son and is seven months pregnant. She contacted Lib Dem parliamentary challenger Stephen Lloyd to see if he could help them. Currently living in a small two bedroom Eastbourne Homes property in Milfoil Drive, they are desperate to move to a larger house before their new baby is born.

Mrs Ruffold said: "Our current home will just be too small with the new baby and we've been trying for months now to persuade the Special Needs Housing Unit in the Housing Department at Eastbourne Borough Council to provide somewhere more suitable. Unfortunately the only alternative they have come up with so far was totally wrong for someone with my disability. At our wits end we approached Stephen Lloyd as it is well known that he works hard for local residents. I hope that something more appropriate can be found for us before the baby is born because it will be very difficult for me to manage with the baby and our young son in the same small bedroom."

Lloyd added: "I will be writing to the Borough Council Housing Need Team asking that they make every effort to re-house the family quickly. Having visited Mr & Mrs Ruffold at their current home, it's obvious to me that it is simply too small with a new baby on the way. Michelle's disability also means her convalescence period will be longer, and the added anxiety of looking after her two year old son as well as the new child in a house which has become unsuitable could lead to real difficulties for the family.

"I'm also not happy that the house offered as an alternative was unsuitable and really quite inaccessible to a wheelchair user. I know and respect the good work the Housing Department at the council do in the community and specifically in this case the Special Needs Unit, so I'm hopeful they will pull out all the stops to re-house the Ruffolds in the right sort of property soon. Time is running out."