Sep 1 2010 by Douglas Barrie, Airdrie & Coatbridge
Margaret Mortimer Scooter
A COATBRIDGE pensioner says she is a prisoner in her own home after her scooter was accidentally taken away by council workers and returned damaged.
Margaret Mortimer has been trapped without the vital mobility aid for three months and could now face missing out on a forthcoming holiday unless its seat and casing can be repaired.
The 75-year-old Kirkwood woman is unable to use a wheelchair and the scooter is carried around in various relatives’ cars for her use on short shopping trips.
Margaret, of Springhill Place, and daughter Irene had arranged to collect it from outside another family member’s premises on Bank Street in the town centre.
However, when they arrived, the scooter was nowhere to be found and police were contacted.
They tracked down the scooter to the town’s Souterhouse Road cleansing depot.
Workers had seen it lying in the street and, believing it had been dumped, collected the scooter and put in into their van.
It was returned damaged and Margaret and her relatives consider it unsafe to use, but say they have had no response from council officials following the incident.
Margaret said: “There was already a small crack in the casing which we’re aware of, but when I got the scooter back there was a bigger crack, the control had been lost from the top and the seat was all ripped.
“I’m not able to get out without the scooter and I feel like a prisoner in my own home – I just want the council to acknowledge what’s happened and do something about it.
“The scooter cost £760 when my late husband bought it for me two years ago, and I don’t have the kind of money to replace it.
“I’m supposed to be going away in three weeks and I don’t know what I’m going to do – I’m panicking and thinking about whether I’ll be able to hire one.
“We’ve spoken to two councillors but one of them said we’d have to prove the scooter was in working order before it was taken.”
Kenneth Wilson, the council’s head of land services, said: “Our local cleansing team saw the scooter sitting beside a pile of bricks at the side of the pavement.
“They assumed it had all been left for collection and took it to one of our recycling centres; the police contacted us later when it was reported missing and it was returned to its owner.
“We apologise for this mistake and the inconvenience caused.”