Wrexham Council has been accused of wasting public money in a case that saw an elderly resident 'trapped' in a care home for five weeks while the council refused to clear rubbish from her property.
Catherine Jones from Y Wern, Wrexham, broke her hip 10 weeks ago and approached the Daily Post for help in desperation after being left for weeks in a home due to her council property being deemed uninhabitable. It became clear she had struggled to keep on top of cleaning at her home in Caia Park.
The council have also been criticised for not communicating properly with Mrs Jones, adding to her distress.
Caia Park community councillor Carrie Harper said:
"It's quite a shocking situation that the council would choose to fork out thousands of pounds to keep Mrs Jones in a care home when the cost of cleaning the property would have been cheaper. It's money wasted and the council should investigate how and why this was allowed to happen. It's also not acceptable that they failed to keep Mrs Jones informed of exactly what was happening.
"At a time when the council claims to be short of money and has to cut front-line services, it does not bode well to hear that these sorts of mistakes mean public money is being spent unnecessarily. It also begs the question, how much more is being wasted?
"The council also needs to acknowledge that residents like Mrs Jones need our empathy and help in order to live independently in our communities, they can't simply pass the buck or treat them as a problem case on someone's desk. They are people who deserve dignity and respect. If a society is judged on the way it treats its most vulnerable members, this case is not a good sign.
"I have spoken to Mrs Jones today who tells me the council do now intend to clean the property in order for her to go home, no doubt promoted by the press coverage in the Daily Post. Although clearly there is a place for the the press to scrutinise cases like this, it should not take a news story to sort these situations out, it should simply not be allowed to happen in the first place.
"It's been heart warming to see the instant response from Caia residents online. As soon as the article went up local people were posting publicly to offer their time to help clean the property and vans to help move rubbish.
"We're a strong community that looks out for each other. One resident posted: 'Caia Park may not be Buckingham Palace and does have its faults but we all come out when needed".