Blocked pathway means no services
An elderly woman, who is confined to a wheelchair after a stroke, feels abandoned and isolated due to a pathway being left impassable.
The overgrown path has left Pamela Epson trapped inside her home or forced to rely on favours from friends to use the village’s services.
The 73-year-old said she has made repeated requests to Suffolk County Council to clear the path between her home on Duff Hill and the village centre – but feels these have fallen on deaf ears.
“It’s impossible in a wheelchair,” said Mrs Epson, who suffered a stroke in 2015 which left her paralysed down the right-side of her body.
“I’m unable to get to the village unless it is cleared, I’m stuck indoors. I’ve previously been told it will be done ‘next week’. They did do a cursory job, but not enough for a wheelchair to pass.”
Mrs Epson, whose husband died in January, said the path is covered in leaves, brambles and grass.
Although she said it has improved, only a small amount of the path is suitable for her wheelchair, as grass and mud creeps in from the edges.
“I’m feeling abandoned,” she said. “I want to get to the post office, the shops, library and the doctor.
“Suffolk County Council is trying to get people back into independence, but it’s lip service. It’s just what it thinks the general public wants to hear.
“The only option I have is to go out into the road, which isn’t safe.
“There are coffee mornings and groups in the village I was very involved in, but I can’t get to any of them.”
Mrs Epson, a retired accountant, added: “They are encouraging us to live at home. I arrange my own care privately.
“I live in a very nice spot, but I’m marooned – all because they are not clearing a footpath.”
Mrs Epson said she had contacted all three local authorities and the ward county councillor, but the path had still not been cleared adequately since the summer.
She feels contractors are coming and doing the job quickly, rather than properly, and feels their work should be assessed by council officials.
The county council has promised that the work will be completed soon.
Colin Noble, leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “Duffs Hill, Glemsford, is one of the sites we have identified that requires clearance of the footpath surface to free up the full width of the path. It is on a planned programme to be completed within the next month.
A request has been made to ensure it is made a priority and completed as soon as possible.”