Council leader ‘went the extra mile’ to help pensioners

Shovel in hand, Councillor Meiklejohn toils cheerfully away
Shovel in hand, Councillor Meiklejohn toils cheerfully away

Grateful pensioners Bill and Maureen Munnoch had been stuck in their Falkirk home for three days with no fresh food supplies when help unexpectedly arrived.

Ex army man Bill (77), had gamely tried to clear some of the deep snow himself, but when a neighbour dropped by to say she’d seen him struggling he had to agree she was right.

Councillor Meiklejohn in her more familiar official setting.

Councillor Meiklejohn in her more familiar official setting.

That neighbour was Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, who had the Munnoch’s access to the main road cleared in what seemed like no time.

“I’ve heard of some councillors who go the extra mile,” said Bill, “but to pick up a shovel yourself and get on with it is in a different league”.

He had been grimly contemplating the thought of a cup of tea with Carnation milk when Ms Meiklejohn brought some welcome respite.

“She really went at it”, said Bill. “She must have been digging away for about three quarters of an hour, and her efforts made a huge difference”.

He added: “Although she is a neighbour she is a very busy woman and not someone we’d have expected to call round for something like this - we’re very grateful for her help”.

He wants to nominate her for a My Hero award, as a shining example of how younger, fitter people can help their older neighbours.

Mrs Munnoch also did her best to clear some of the snow, while Ms Meiklejohn tried to get some of the snow off the couple’s car.

Like many local pensioners the Munnochs are faced with a difficult, snow-bound trek to local shops - and really rely on ouside help.

Standard NHS advice is for elderly people to stay indoors during extreme weather, as a fall can spell serious injury - and at a time when transport and hospital services are under severe pressure.

The Munnochs say Ms Meiklejohn’s help is a great example of somebody pitching in to help without being asked - and was a big morale booster after days of “snow siege”.