Pensioner a 'prisoner' in his Rothley bungalow during year-long wait for ramp

A pensioner has been trapped inside his council bungalow for a year, with his only outings since May last year being to the hospital. Barry Sherrard, 76, has been waiting for Charnwood Borough Council to install a ramp and hopes to have his freedom again soon.

But he wishes somebody would tell him when that day might be. The Rothley pensioner said: "I asked the council about this on March 7 last year and I'm fed up - I feel like a prisoner.

"Since May last year I haven't felt safe going out without my wheelchair because my left leg can just buckle under me and I fall over. I've got an aluminium ramp I paid for myself but that's no use to me when I'm on my own.

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"I can't lock or unlock the door when I'm in my wheelchair so I can only leave the house when someone takes me. I'm sat in the dark and I just wish I could go outside and mix with people.

"I'm not asking to go to Skegness and dance on the beach - I just want to go out."

The solution, Barry thinks, would be raising the ground outside his door and a gentle concrete ramp running down the side of the bungalow to the pavement in Greenway Close.

Barry's wife of 40 years, Jenny, passed away two years ago and their son lives in the south of England. Barry, who used to work in a factory in Syston before retiring, has had some mobility issues for four years and they have been getting a lot worse recently.

He said there was a coffee morning a week ago in the village that he would have liked to have gone to, but his only trip out last month was in an ambulance. He went for a short stay in hospital after a fall in his kitchen.

Since LeicestershireLive contacted Charnwood Borough Council, Barry has heard from the council again but he still does not know when the work on his ramp will start.

A spokesperson for Charnwood Borough Council said: “The process involves both the borough council and Leicestershire County Council. During a visit to Mr Sherrard’s property in April 2023, our mobile warden made a referral to First Contact Plus at Leicestershire County Council for an adaptions assessment.

"In August 2023, Leicestershire County Council recommended minor adaptations including key clamp rails and an additional half step. We completed these minor adaptations in October 2023. At this stage, we did not receive a recommendation for an external ramp to be installed at the property.

"A further occupational therapist assessment was carried out by the county council on April 10, 2024, when the installation of an external ramp was recommended. The recommendation was received by the borough council on April 16, 2024, and we are now progressing this request.

“Subject to a survey being completed, the installation works for the ramp to Mr Sherrard’s property will be carried out as soon as possible.

“We have been in touch with Mr Sherrard directly to discuss this case and will continue to provide him with regular updates going forward.”