Man Given Hut As Accommodation
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 19, 2004
LANARK, SCOTLAND--Barbara Cross is upset that her husband, Donnie, will have to sleep in a workmen's hut attached to the back of their home when returns from the hospital within the next few days.
Barbara told the Daily Record that South Lanarkshire Council had the wooden hut lowered into their garden by a crane, then fitted to the back door of their home. The hut is a two-room, 15-foot by 12-foot structure, usually used for temporary living quarters at construction sites. It was painted brown to help it "blend in".
The use of the hut was the council's way to solve the problem of providing a ground-floor bedroom for Donnie, a father of two who has multiple sclerosis.
The couple had requested a separate house, but the council said that was too expensive. Officials later suggested building an extension onto the existing home, but dropped that plan because it also was too costly.
Barbara, who is legally blind, said that Donnie is undergoing treatment at Hairmyres Hospital. A hospital bed is being moved into the new hut for when he comes home. She said she worries that the structure will be too cold because it lacks proper insulation, noting that ice had already formed on the inside of one of the hut's small windows.
"It's freezing," Barbara said. "We'll have to have the heating on 24 hours a day."
"Heating it is going to cost us a fortune and we won't get any help with the bills," she added. "We are both disabled and, although we receive benefits, this will make things harder."
The paper noted Thursday that the council refused to discuss the Cross family's situation.