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Grandad’s grim tale of squalor

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:54 24 August 2010

A 72-YEAR-old grandfather who is blind in one eye was left by the council to languish in a flat riddled with cockroaches and damp. Mr Carral Ranger, who has developed a cough after living in the ground-floor flat in Swallow Drive, Neasden, for six years,

A 72-YEAR-old grandfather who is blind in one eye was left by the council to languish in a flat riddled with cockroaches and damp.

Mr Carral Ranger, who has developed a cough after living in the ground-floor flat in Swallow Drive, Neasden, for six years, desperately wants to move out of the flat where the windows are permanently locked.

His worried granddaughter Natalie Ranger, who lives in nearby Queen's Park, and his GP wrote to housing services at Brent Council pleading with them to intervene, but to no avail.

Ms Ranger is furious the council ignored her letters and have not moved sooner to place her elderly grandfather in more suitable accommodation.

She said: "It's disgusting. My grandfather came to this country when he was young and worked all his life, and never asked anybody for anything.

"Now he's a pensioner and finds himself entitled to help for circumstances beyond his control he is fobbed off.

"I adore my grandfather and don't feel he's been treated very fairly. I feel quite angry."

Ms Ranger called up the council after not getting a response to her letter in three months, but was further angered when the female council officer taking the call was rude, unhelpful and then hung up the phone.

After she made a complaint about the individual's behaviour, the council sent an official to investigate the state of the property and said that the staff member had claimed Ms Ranger had been rude to her and couldn't explain why the phone had gone dead.

Ms Ranger said: "I think she panicked because she was unable to answer my questions on why the council hadn't acknowledged my letter."

"If I put my feelings about my grandfather to one side, it's quite worrying - there are other people who are genuinely vulnerable who may not have family members, and I hate to think what's happening to them.

"I'd like to think this is a one-off, but I doubt it. I think it's quite shoddy."

Mr Ranger said: "I don't want to cause any trouble. I just want to move because I've been there for six years and that's a long time to be in temporary accommodation.

"I feel the council have just put me there and forgotten about me."

A Brent Council spokesman admitted Mr Ranger was placed in the flat in 2005 and had contacted them to complain about damp last year, adding: "An officer from private housing services has visited his address and spoken with the agent for the accommodation who said that the window locks would be fixed and that they would look into the issue of cockroaches.

"A complaint made by Mr Ranger's granddaughter about a Brent Council officer was not upheld. Mr Ranger is on the council's housing register and an officer will contact him to discuss his re-housing application."

sofia.mitra-thakur@archant.co.uk


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