William Eichler 20 February 2024

Thurrock bin crews trapped wheelchair user

Thurrock bin crews trapped wheelchair user image
Image: H_Ko / Shutterstock.com.

Bin crews in Thurrock have repeatedly trapped a disabled woman in her home by not returning her bins to the proper place, ombudsman finds.

The woman complained about how the council provides her assisted bin collections on three occasions over a four-year period.

Assisted collections are offered to people who cannot move their bins to the kerbside by themselves.

The woman, who is a wheelchair user, told the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) that her bins were frequently missed by collection crews.

She also said that sometimes when the bins were collected, they were not returned to the right place or were left blocking the driveway.

Thurrock Council has agreed to carry out a review of bin complaints.

Ms Amerdeep Somal, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: ‘It’s clear in this case the council’s efforts to improve the service for this woman just haven’t worked long-term, and the monitoring it put in place has not resolved the situation.

‘I’m now asking the council to apologise to the woman, offer her a meeting with a senior manager and fully review all the service complaints it has received about its assisted collections service to identify any trends.’

A spokesperson for Thurrock Council said: 'Thurrock Council accepts the findings of the Ombudsman on this historical case and has apologised to the resident for what happened, which we agree was unacceptable. We have already made improvements to the service, as recommend by the Ombudsman, and will continue to monitor service delivery to ensure that this cannot happen again.'

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