With Emma being in a wheelchair now there are certain modifications that are required around the house. These range from the simple; ramp to the front door and safety rails to grab onto; to the major, adding an extension to add a bedroom on to the ground floor and convert an existing room into a wetroom/bathroom. Now all of this is being done by the local social work department, and, after speaking with others in a similar situation I know that we are actually getting things done quite quickly !
All of the “simple” items, such as the ramp to the front door and getting a chairlift were done in a matter of weeks of asking, however the major items seem to be stuck in a morass of paperwork and processes within the social work department.
I don’t intent for this to turn into a name and shame session, or alternatively a blatant advertisement but if I see an extreme of behaviour, especially when it comes from an unexpected source I’m going to give plaudits.
Initially we were told in August that the work, a bathroom conversion and a small extension could be done in 3 months start to finish. Of course we were sceptical but this is what they do for a living so who am I to question them. There was an initial flurry of activity; architects came out, we reviewed the plans, we asked for a few amendments, all seemed fine. Then time passed. The official line was that the funding required to carry out the work was not in place.
Luckily, my mother in law has lots of contact with our local councillor Jackie Burns through her work with the community, who promptly told us in no uncertain terms that the funding was indeed in place.
One quick meeting later in order to try and get something done, they agree to split the work into two phases: the bathroom conversion, which only needs a building warrant; and the extension, which needs planning permission.
Then the builders arrive.
Normally this is the most stressful part of the project. However two factors come into play here:
1. We were on holiday
2. Elaine knows the builder
Work starts on the Monday and by the following Wednesday the work is completed and the bathroom is in use. Exactly on schedule. Strangely enough, it was the builder that was putting pressure on us, we were in the shop choosing the tiles and he had the van en-route to collect them. I cannot recommend Scott Building Services highly enough
Only the extension to go. Apparently the plans will be submitted for approval in January but they have yet to come out and inspect the foundations so who knows what will happen.
Watch this space.