Chesterfield quadriplegic man’s plea for changes to home

Paul Flanagan is appealing to the council to make alterations to his home
Paul Flanagan is appealing to the council to make alterations to his home
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A quadriplegic man is pleading with Chesterfield Borough Council to make ‘life-changing’ alterations to his home.

Eight months after losing use of his limbs, Paul Flanagan wants the authority to transform his council house to help make his life easier.

Mr Flanagan, 58, of Gypsy Lane, Chesterfield, said: “Things are very difficult for me right now. I can’t get upstairs – I’m currently a prisoner in my own living room. I’ve not had a bath or a shower in months.

“I want a wet room and access to the bedroom in my house. These alterations would be life-changing. I’ve contacted the council but I’m not getting anywhere. I feel very let down.”

Mr Flanagan said he became quadriplegic last October following an ‘awful’ stay at hospital. When he finally returned home in February, his kitchen ceiling collapsed due to an apparent oversight by a plumber. According to Mr Flanagan, who suffers from emphysema, this has caused a leak and black mould to form in his kitchen.

He added: “The council doesn’t seem bothered about sorting out these problems either. It’s been going on for too long now. I fear this mould could seriously harm my health.”

Councillor Helen Bagley, cabinet member for homes and customers, said: “We will always try, where possible, to make reasonable adaptations to allow our tenants to continue to live in familiar surroundings.

“In cases such as Mr Flanagan’s, however, this is not always possible because of the scale of the adaptations which would be necessary to provide an extension for a ground floor bedroom with en-suite bathroom, new ramps and step-lift for a wheelchair.

“As a council tenant, we have offered Mr Flanagan and his family the opportunity to move to another adapted property which would meet his needs, which they have turned down. The offer remains open to them should they change their minds. Our housing repairs team has also carried out two repairs to a damaged ceiling caused by a leak and to the toilet which was not working correctly.”