Elderly couple get handrails from council after long wait

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AFTER over a year of asking, Thurrock Council on Tuesday finally installed handrails on steps to the back garden of a green-fingered couple from Stifford Clays.

Horace and Mary Lane, aged 75 and 71 of Bradshawe Road, appeared in the Thurrock Independent last month where they revealed Thurrock Council had previously turned down every request they had made due to a policy of only installing handrails at the front of properties, and not the back.

This was despite the property’s car parking space accessible only from the back, and Horace twice having fallen while using the steps. Horace has great difficulty walking, requiring a mobility scooter when out and about, and Mary is herself awaiting a hip operation. The lack of handrails was also a large deterrent to the couple’s passion of tending their back garden.

However, shortly after the article was published, the couple received a call from Thurrock Council, and arranged for the much needed handrails to be installed.

Mary said: “These handrails will make such a difference and help Horace and myself access our home from the back garden much more easily. We’re so grateful to the Thurrock Independent for their help because before all this the council just weren’t listening to us.”

Horace and Mary have lived in their property for over 50 years and until now had never asked for the council’s help with anything, having paid for grab rails in the bathroom and toilets all themselves.