June, 86, from Exmouth forced to pay £25 for return of her mobility scooter

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:55 24 March 2016

June Swan on her mobility scooter. Ref exe 11-16TI 7571. Picture: Terry Ife

June Swan on her mobility scooter. Ref exe 11-16TI 7571. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

A furious Exmouth pensioner believes East Devon District Council has gone ‘stark raving mad’ after charging her £25 for the return of her mobility scooter.

But East Devon District Council insists it had to remove the mobility scooter for health and safety reasons as the buggy could have been hazardous to other Morgan Court residents in a fire.

June Evans, 86, of Morgan Court, a sheltered housing block, said she had left her mobility scooter in the communal area to sell.

The next day, her mobility scooter had disappeared, which led to June calling Devon and Cornwall Police to report the item as stolen.

However, June was eventually told by her neighbour that East Devon District Council (EDDC) had removed her mobility scooter.

The pensioner has hit out at ‘hardnosed’ council bosses for not telling her first that the mobility scooter was going to be taken.

She said: “East Devon District Council has gone stark raving mad. Did they not have two minutes to spare to come up the stairs to tell me they were taking my mobility scooter?

“The mobility scooter had my personal address on it. I am 86-years-old, I have health problems and getting about is difficult for me.

“I have a new mobility scooter, and I was going to sell my old one. I ended up wasting the time of the police by reporting the item as stolen. I believe East Devon District Council has gone too far this time.

“I’ve lived at Morgan Court for 12 years and I’ve never had an issue before. I believe the council has been very hardnosed and inconsiderate to me in asking for £25 for the return of my mobility scooter.”

June’s daughter Debra, 54, said the situation had caused her mum ‘unnecessary stress’. She said: “Mum should not have had to pay £25 for the mobility scooter’s return. The whole situation has caused mum unnecessary stress as she was panicking, thinking the scooter had been stolen.”

An EDDC spokeswoman said: “We have a zero tolerance position with regards to items left in communal areas - this policy is based on the fact that the safety of our vulnerable residents across all our sites is a number one priority for us.

“The residents at Morgan Court have a buggy shed at the rear of the property, so there is absolutely no reason why the buggies should be left in communal areas.

“If a fire were to break out, the buggies pose a huge risk as they are highly combustible and are a significant hazard if people are trying to get out in an emergency situation.

“We do indeed charge residents for the return of items, as this is a management cost, which we should not have to incur - especially on a site where buggy storage exists.

“We are aware that the mobility scooter in question had been placed in a communal area as the tenant was trying to sell it, so in fact it was not in use at the time. We have since worked with the tenant to place her new mobility scooter in the shed provided.”


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