A disabled council house tenant says she is struggling to cope with her wash load because the council has refused to move a tumble dryer into her kitchen.
Jenny Blunt and her husband Tony live in a bungalow in Copperfield Close in Bybrook and are both disabled, and say the burden of household chores has pushed them to their limit.
Retired occupational health therapist Jenny suffers from lymphedema in her arm following breast cancer and needs a knee op, while Tony has a bad back and a replacement knee.
She says when the kitchen was refitted two years ago the tumble dryer had been in the plans for the kitchen, but it was placed in the spare room instead.
She said: “They said they would put it in the kitchen but they didn’t do it. So now I’m having problems carrying the washing.
“My lymphedema is getting increasingly worse in my arm and I’m not allowed to carry anything. I kept on trying as I’m not one to give up on anything, but now it’s reached the stage where it needs to be moved as a matter of necessity.
“We’ve had problems in the past, we’ve asked for plumbers and sat in all day waiting, only for an electrician to turn up." - Jenny Blunt
“The council have said we would have to pay from our own expense, but it’s hard because we’re both retired and on a fixed budget.
“We’ve had problems in the past with the council, when we’ve asked for plumbers and sat in all day waiting, only for an electrician to turn up.
“We would ask our neighbours to help us move it, but we live next door to an elderly lady, while my son works long hours in his job and then is on call as a firefighter at night.”
She says the work required would need a carpenter to remove one of the kitchen units in order to fit the tumble dryer, but estimates it would only take an hour for a skilled tradesman.
She added: “The council’s response has been very upsetting. We are both registered disabled and we pay our rent, and keep it in a reasonable state of repair.
“They are refusing to do it point blank. I asked them to reconsider their decision, but they said no.”
A spokesman for Ashford Borough Council said Mrs Blunt's request did not fit into the category of a disabled adaptation, but fitted the category for a discretionary responsive repair.
The spokesman said: "The family are fully aware of the council's position on this matter. It is a sad position, but it reflects the fact that there are a number of people whose needs have been identified as greater.
"While in an ideal world we would be in a position to assist everyone who asked for help, the facts of the matter are that we cannot."
The spokesman added that an extra £100,000 has been put into the budget for disabled adaptations taking the full figure to £400,000, and the budget is set to increase to £700,000 by 2017 to meet rising demand.
But the spokesman accepted that it will not be enough to help everyone.