Disabled Larbert man pleads: ‘Find me a new home’

Colin Archibald is trapped in a house too small for his wheelchair
Colin Archibald is trapped in a house too small for his wheelchair

A disabled man who is unable to get into his bathroom or kitchen is pleading with Falkirk Council to find him a new house.

When Colin Archibald (39) was given his house on Old Bellsdyke Road, Larbert, he was promised it would be adapted to make it suitable.

Four years later, that still hasn’t happened – and Colin is now in a wheelchair and unable to leave his house without great difficulty.

His deteriorating health now means that even adapting his privately rented flat would be impossible.

The bathroom, which has a very narrow doorframe, is so small that he can no longer access it.

This means he cannot use the shower and for the past four months he has been forced to wash with antibacterial cream.

He also has to use a commode in his spare room, which should be kept for his 11-year-old son’s visits.

The small, L-shaped kitchen is also out of bounds as he is unable to turn his chair within it.

You might also be interested in:

Bonnybridge haulage firm has its licence suspended

Bo’ness man told police officer ‘I will bite your nose off’

Police launch investigation into Carronggrange allegations

The situation means that he is now almost completely reliant on his partner, Laura McGuigan, and his mum and dad to help him.

Mr Archibald’s health began to deteriorate after an operation in 2013 to get his tonsils out, when he had a violent reaction to the anaesthetic.

Tests eventually revealed he had malignant hyperthermia, which left him with Chronic Pain Syndrome and fibromyalgia. Colin is also diabetic and suffers from anxiety and depression.

The stress of being virtually trapped in the house is making his condition worse, he says.

“I have good days and bad days,” he said. “But I can’t remember the last time I had a good day. It is causing me anxiety and it is affecting my relationship with my son.”

Despite being told he is now top of the list for adapted housing, he and Laura feel the council is not taking his case seriously.

“I was told I was top of the list but when I found a bungalow that would have been perfect I didn’t get it. I was absolutely gutted.

“I was told I came second – how can I be top of the list and come second?”

“I don’t think they realise how bad things are now,” said Laura.“When I complained that he couldn’t have a shower, I was told he could go to the swimming pool to get a shower!”

Mr Archibald has applied for 20 houses and been offered only one, which turned out to be not fully accessible.

Their MSP Michael Matheson is now trying to suggest housing associations that could help.

A spokesman for Falkirk Council said: “We are sympathetic to this situation however the demand for the type of property requested by Mr Archibald sadly far outstrips what we have available.

“We fully recognise that his current home is not suitable and currently he has the highest priority for this type of housing.

“We will continue to assist Mr Archibald in his search and encourage him to continue to apply.”