When Mrs Margie Ryce, a Blantyre widow was allocated a council house in May 1978, it should have been part of a welcome new chapter for her. However, the house was far from ready and when she stepped in through the door, she was confronted by a scene that she knew would take weeks to fix.
Mr Ryce was forced to work for several weeks , day and evenings to get her council house in Morris Crescent, ready for her family of four. When complaint was made to the council, she claimed the council told her, “it simply needs decorated, please do this yourself.”
Now that would have been all and well, but the house needed far more than “just decorating.” Two ceilings needed replacing entirely, holes in her kitchen floor exposed water pipes, a dangerously weak stair landing, damaged and leaking windows and rotting floor tiles in the kitchen, prevented laying lino.
She said, “When i asked the council workman for help to lift the old rotted tiles, i was told, you’ll need to buy a blowtorch and do this yourself.”
Mrs Ryce, gave up on the council and worked 12 hour shifts herself to get the house habitable, although the council did give in and eventually replaced her 2 ceilings during her renovation. The council’s attitude was shocking in this instance. The council were given a chance to respond stating they knew of the case and that Mrs Ryce had gained entry early on the condition she knew she would have to redecorate herself.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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