AIBU and a bit of advice please..(17 Posts)
back story My mum has a brain tumour, it's a 'roaming' one that's on like a stalk thing meaning it can press on different parts of her brain. Some days she's okay(meaning feeling crap but able to function), other days she's terrible, throwing up, collapsing and can't move. She was in hospital not long ago because on a bad day she had a seizure. Now because it's an 'on/off' thing she has had trouble getting any financial help, she started getting some DLA but then it was stopped. So since then we have supported her.
A couple of months ago my mum received a letter in the post from a woman who works for the council, saying my mum will be getting a fine because she has left her bin out. Now by out she means - not in the street- but right at the back of my mums back garden door (terraced houses). Not causing any blockage or problem at all. This happened on one of her bad days. I emailed the council and explained this to them, to which they basically said it's no excuse and she should have means in place for these circumstance - because we all had maids and the like don't we
I offered to pay the fine just to get it out of the way, but mum said she would sort it. Fast forward a few weeks and now mum has got a court summons. It lists a few dates where apparently my mum left her bin at the back of her garden door, which this council woman has recorded because it seems like she's been habitually stalking my mums back garden. Also she's complaining about my mum not recycling - which she can't as the recycling bin was stolen (yes bloody stolen) and we've requested for a replacement 6 times but had none.
AIBU to be absolutely furious? And could I ask for some advice on how to handle this situation? My mum is only 40, she should be having fun and living her life but it's ruined by this bloody tumour and now this has got her worried.
Could you seek your Councillor's help? If the Council has a particular councillor responsible for refuse collection, I would contact them.
Yanbu, does this woman just have a problem only with your mum?
euphemia that's a good idea thankyou.I'll have to try them, I thought emailing the office would have worked but they were right snotty.
coffee I should have mentioned this in the OP, I asked a couple of the neighbours who have said they leave theirs out all the time and have never received a letter. Now I'm not trying to say this woman has some ulterior motive but she's gone as far as to knock on my mums door and try to 'have it out with her'. She's a vulnerable person, living on her own unlike the others who are families and couples.
try to get an appointment to see the woman in person and ask that her manager be present. Good idea to get on to your local councillor as someone else said. record as much as possible in a diary, ask neighbours to write down what they have said to you about not getting the same treatment, write to her manager, copy to leader of council, head of her department and local councillor, local press. make a huge fuss. Is there any reason why this woman would target just your mum? does she know her? hold a grudge for some reason? sounds odd to me.
Thankyou stepaway brilliant suggestions. I hate things like this but it's my mum and I cannot stand the thought of her worrying about this. It's a bin FFS.
I have no idea about why it seems she's targeting her, mum doesn't recognise her face, nor her name - although that said she's crap at remembering people at the best of times. It sounds really paranoid like some conspiracy thing but I don't understand why this woman is going to the lengths she is, but only for one person in the street one of the nice neighbours have offered now to put the bin in the garden for her, so it won't happen again. It's the amount of times it was recorded previously - I have images of this woman creeping around with a notebook and pencil She sent us a list of dates and times, it was shocking.
I know rules are rules, but I would have hoped they'd be a bit more understanding in light of her illness. Grr.
<goes off to compose letter>
I second speaking to your local councillor. They are elected to represent you and are different to council officers who are employed by the council. This woman sounds like the latter. To find your local councillor go to the council & democracy page of the council's website - there is usually a 'find your councillor' page that you can put your postcode into. Then just call one of them (I usually find 6pm is a good time). Good luck.
I agree with speaking to your Mum's Councillor about of these issues (including the not recycling because they haven't replaced her bin, and now being pursued because of it). I would also be asking whether there is an issue of disability discrimination here, as your mum appears to be being targeted when her neighbours are not receiving the same treatment for the same issues.
I would also find out whether it is possible for your mum to get a free 'back door collection' for rubbish/recycling collections. I know that they do them around here for people with disabilities or who are too frail to put their bins out and away again and the same service may be available for your mum.
The detailed list of dates sounds more like it was prepared by a disgruntled neighbour with an axe to grind and passed to the council than the council spying on your mum. I know you said her neighbours had been supportive, but were any of them less supportive? Worth a think. Either way, I'm sorry to hear your mum is having this stress. Hope you get it sorted soon.
Posted too soon!
Thankyou everyone. I've shown her this thread and she seems much better now she knows we can have a plan of action.
The neighbours seem fine, I don't think they'd do it. Hopefully not!
Your mother may well have a disability within the terms of the Equality Act, in which case the council must make adaptions for her - they can't just have a "one size fits all" policy.
If your DM is willing, the local paper or radio station may be interested too.
The woman from the council visited her at home to complain about where she'd put her bin?
OP, are you certain this happened? If it did, it's out and out bullying. Can you get a letter from the doctor about your mum's condition?
And what were they saying about you having maids? Is everyone in your council quite mad?
Yes I was there, my mum doesn't get confused or lie. She's told me she's knocked on another occasion but my mum didn't answer to her after last time
Yeah I think we will get a doctors letter, it would back up the case more wouldn't it.
Noo the maids but was from me it was just my angry reaction to them saying she should make prior arrangements. As we all work full time, the only way my mum could have made arrangements (because of course you can plan ahead when you have a condition like this - not) is to have live in help. But thankfully the lovely neighbour has offered to help which remedies this.
I'm really sorry, I wasn't implying she was lying. It just sounds so weird that someone would knock on the door about the bins, that I thought maybe she'd misunderstood.
Oh don't worry about it! She's as sharp as a tac, just like a 'normal' person. She's usually so feisty, this seems to just be getting her down.
I'm sure we'll get it sorted now, thanks to all the suggestions. Made us feel better
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