Real-life kitchen sink drama

Not much room for pots, pans, plates and cups in Gillean's porcelain hand basin in the bathroom. GG 1605012 12
Not much room for pots, pans, plates and cups in Gillean's porcelain hand basin in the bathroom. GG 1605012 12

A CREETOWN resident whose hot water stopped running last weekend was advised by her social landlords to wash her kitchenware in her bathroom sink.

Gillean Smith, who is 70 this year, uses a wheelchair and walking sticks to move around her Chain Terrace home and was shocked at the advice given by Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP).

Mrs Smith claims she was told that a plumber wouldn’t be free for almost two weeks.

Gillean said: “I thought they’d send someone straight over as this was an emergency, we couldn’t prepare food or wash anything properly in the sink.

“But the girl on the phone told me it wasn’t an emergency and no one was free to come out. Then she asked me if my shower and bathroom sink had hot water and when I said yes, she told me to just use that meantime.

“I said to her, how am I supposed to carry my dishes away through to another room when I use two walking sticks and a wheelchair?”

Gillean, whose husband is her full-time carer, refused to accept the advice and said the suggestion she was given was unacceptable.

She then told DGHP she would contact local politicians to try to get the repairs done.

She said: “That soon changed their minds, and they decided there was a plumber nearby who could come and fix it. There was no way we were going to use our bathroom – the sink is right beside the toilet. No-one can tell me that’s hygienic.”

Gillean said their plumbing system was older than most DGHP properties and that she wasn’t surprised at the failure.

She added: “Things fail, it happens, but it’s what this girl told me to do as an alternative that I couldn’t believe.”

A DGHP spokesman said: “The repair was carried out on Tuesday and our tenant was given the first available appointment when she called in to report it.”