Anger over asbestos invoice

PUBLISHED: 12:01 10 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

Diane Ashley with the dismantled garage

Diane Ashley with the dismantled garage

FENLAND District Council has promised action today to finish the job it started more than a month ago, clearing asbestos from the back garden of a council house. The council announced this week that it had nearly halved the £360 clearance cost they origin

FENLAND District Council has promised action today to finish the job it started more than a month ago, clearing asbestos from the back garden of a council house.The council announced this week that it had nearly halved the £360 clearance cost they originally planned to charge the former tenants, pensioners Hiram and Joan Fuller, of Chatteris.The asbestos is from the remains of a garage the council ordered to be cleared together with other debris left behind when the elderly tenants moved from a three-bedroom bungalow in Tithe Road to a bungalow in St Martins Road.Mr and Mrs Fuller were last month given two weeks to pay a £360 bill for council workers to tidy up the garden of their three-bedroom home of 53 years. Councillor Florence Newell, chairman of Chatteris Town Council, had persuaded the council to reduce the bill to £200, but said it was "absolutely disgusting" the work had been invoiced and not even completely finished. "And Mr and Mrs Fuller have still been charged £200 for this mess." However, Cllr Newell says she has also persuaded the council to accept £3-a-week from the Fullers to settle the account.Mrs Fuller, 73 and her husband, say they were amazed to receive the bill, as they thought there was nothing wrong with their back garden.After the move Mr Fuller, 79, was taken ill, and while in hospital had a fall. He broke an arm and picked up an infection, which delayed his recovery and was forced to have his right arm amputated.Cllr Newell added: "This is an old couple, with other problems. Fenland's policy is 'Customer First' for people of the Fens."They couldn't even take Mr and Mrs Fuller's circumstances into consideration.

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