James Plunkett and family in his Craigneuk home
A sickly Craigneuk grandfather has accused North Lanarkshire Council of making him feel like a criminal - forcing him to slop out while repair work is carried out to his bathroom.
James Plunkett (58) - who suffers from COPD, a chronic lung disease - claims the local authority have rendered his home "uninhabitable" and turned him into a "sofa surfer", reliant on the goodwill of family members after what was described as a two-day job to fix a leaking pipe turned into a six-week nightmare, which shows no signs of ending.
James fumed: "Its a disgrace. A total shambles. I'm disgusted by the treatment I've received."
After being told last month a few bathroom floorboards had to be replaced, James has watched on in horror as first of all, a bathroom suite was ripped out, the walls taken back to bare brick, then several of his kitchen units removed. His small living room is now cluttered with a bath, wash-hand basin and cistern as well as a cooker, fridge freezer and cupboards from his kitchen.
James continued: "How can anyone live like this? Apart from all the mess in my living room, I've got stuff strewn all over my bedroom too.
"There's dust everywhere which is aggravating my COPD. The workmen have masks on but I don't. I'm completely stressed. To be told Id effectively have to slop out because there's no cistern installed was the final straw."
He added: "I was told this would be a two-day job. We're now six weeks on and look at the state of the place. They only came and put the plasterboard on the bathroom walls when I told them I'd been to the Wishaw Press. No-one seems to be able to tell me exactly what's going on and why it's taking so long. All I've had are broken promises."
Des Murray, property services manager at North Lanarkshire Council, said: "Following a reported leak from the bathroom into the flat below, we carried out a survey and advised Mr Plunket his bathroom floor and joists needed replaced. We also explained this would mean the bathroom and kitchen would have to be temporarily out of use but would ensure he was provided with temporary facilities if he wished to stay within the property while the works were undertaken.
"Following discussions, work began on Monday, September 17, and was due to be completed by Friday 21st. Mr Plunkett was unhappy with the temporary facilities and every effort was made to address his concerns. However we were not able to gain access to the flat or contact Mr Plunkett on Wednesday or Thursday and have been unable to continue with the repair work as planned."