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Fire victim Bernard Wycliffe-Clark moved to ‘flea pit’ in Canterbury

A disabled pensioner rehoused after a fire at his home says he is forced to wash in the sink because of the conditions at his sheltered housing.

Bernard Wycliffe-Clark, 85, claims the shower at his bungalow in Fisher Road, Canterbury, is broken and his toilet is frequently blocked.

The retired engineer, who walks on crutches, was moved to the East Kent Housing property in March.

Mr Wycliffe-Clark claims he has to wash in a sink
Mr Wycliffe-Clark claims he has to wash in a sink

He describes it as like “living in a flea-pit” and is desperate to move back to his old house.

“There are no wash facilities here as no water comes out of the shower – I have to wash in the sink with a flannel,” he said.

“The drainage system doesn’t work either, which means the toilet is always blocked.”

Mr Wycliffe-Clark claims he has contacted Canterbury City Council about the problems, something the authority denies.

He was previously living in sheltered accommodation in Churchill Close, Bridge until a fire caused by the boiler meant he had to temporarily move out.

“I want to move back there but I have no idea when that will be and no one is coming to do anything about the facilities here,” he said.

“It’s as bad as it can be and I’m at the mercy of others.

Mr Wycliffe-Clark claims he has to wash in a sink
Mr Wycliffe-Clark claims he has to wash in a sink

“I’ve been seriously disabled since 1970 when I was smashed into by a drunk driver and I’m in so much pain.

“I try to keep myself up and about as I don’t want to stay in the house during the day, but I can’t walk very far.

“My condition has worsened since I moved here. I’m getting to the point where I won’t be able to walk at all. It’s like living in a flea-pit.”

A spokesman for East Kent Housing said the property was fully inspected before the pensioner moved in.

He added: “Our contractor has confirmed Mr Clark has not requested any repairs to this property, but in light of his comments we will be visiting him to discuss his needs.”

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