Denny amputee pleads to council to keep his garden

John Millar
John Millar

A Denny amputee is pleading with the council to provide a ramp that will give him back his freedom without depriving him of his garden.

John Millar (64) lost his leg last year due to health issues and since then has craved more independence.

Falkirk Council has offered Mr Millar a ramp, but the Denny man believes the large shaped-piece of equipment on offer would take up too much of his outdoor space.

He said: “The council have told me they’d give me a ramp, but it would take up the whole garden and we like to sit outside in the summer.

“What I really want is a straight ramp from my door.

“A Glasgow firm has given me a quote for a straight ramp, but I would have to pay the difference in price of £1380.

“It’s driving me crazy being indoors all the time.

“I’ve not seen my upstairs for a year and, if I do get out, I have to be bumped down the stairs but that’s not safe.”

Local councillor John McNally said: “Mr Millar’s not alone. I know there are a number of people who have requested these types of ramps across the district.”

The local authority says a straight ramp is not a cost-effective option, but that some garden space could be saved with a shaped ramp.

A spokesman for Falkirk Council said: “There can be situations where there is a cost difference between the simplest solution to meet a functional need and the service user’s preferred provision.

“Service users are offered the opportunity to have their preferred provision by meeting the cost difference themselves.

“The position regarding the ramp for Mr Millar is that a U-shaped ramp, which slopes away from the garden path, then returns to meet the path is the most cost-effective version proposed by the blacksmiths.

“This would allow Mr Millar access to approximately half of his existing patio and leaves access to much of the grassed area of the garden for ambulant persons. Mr Millar would prefer a ramp which goes straight from his door, following the line of the existing path.

“As well as the increased cost of works essential to such an installation, Mr Millar would require to construct a new path if he wished to gain wheelchair access back up the garden to the patio.”