Mum shocked as council turn front lawn into 10 level, 60m-long disabled ramp
Clare Lally got more than she bargained for after requesting help for her young daughter
Mum-of-two Clare Lally had been asking her local council to provide a much-needed access ramp for her daughter Katie for two years. But when it was finally installed, she couldn't believe her eyes.
Katie, seven, has bulbar palsy - caused by complications after she and her twin Holly were born prematurely - and uses a wheelchair. Clare spent two years going back and forth with her local council asking for a ramp to be installed as their family home is at the top of three flights of stairs.
When West Dunbartonshire Council finally took action, it wasn't quite what Clare had in mind.
The tidy grass lawn in front of her home in Clydebank, near Glasgow, was replaced by a disabled ramp which takes up the entire front garden. Snaking back and forth across 10 levels, the ramp makes for a slalom as impressive as anything you'd see in the Winter Olympics.
"The council said this was the only option to fit something into the garden because of building regulations," Clare told the Express.
"What they have built is something which I would never have expected a local council to do. We have to open our blinds and look at it every day."
Although Clare is pleased that Katie has finally received the support they had been asking for, she is puzzled by the council's drastic measures.
"It is a lot easier but I don't believe that the council weren't able to do something else," she said. "We weren't fighting for a massive steel ramp – we just wanted to improve Katie's quality of life."
The giant 60m-long construction - which cost West Dunbartonshire Council an estimated £40,000 - is equivalent to only three small sets of steps which run up the sloping lawn. The sprawling metal structure is so large that from their front window, Clare and her family can't even see the bottom of it.
Adding insult to injury, the council's refusal to add a front gate to the contraption - claiming it would obstruct the pavement - means that the giant ramp has found a new use for local children, who have been using it as a miniature skate park.
A spokesman for West Dunbartonshire Council told reporters that the family had indicated they could manage the steps at the property.
He said: "This proved not to be the case. As they were existing tenants, it was the council's duty to make the necessary adaptations.
"This led to the installation of the wheelchair ramp as requested by the family."
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