Kerb problem finally resolved
Highland Council has come under fire over the length of time it has taken to provide a dropped kerb outside the only shop in a north coast community.
The authority was asked nearly a year ago to carry out the work outside the Post Office and General Store in Bettyhill, in order to provide easier access for wheelchair and disability buggy users.
However, the job was only undertaken last week – following an inquiry by the Northern Times as to why it was taking so long.
One of those concerned over the situation was local postman Mark Gilbert.
He said: “I noticed the issue earlier this year when a local resident who uses a mobility scooter and needs crutches to walk, arrived at the shop when it was pouring with rain. He had to park by the side of the store, then struggled to get into his crutches and then had to negotiate the kerb and the step into the store. He got soaked.”
Mr Gilbert was shocked to discover that postmistress and store proprietor Susan Malone had brought the issue up a year ago but nothing had been done.
He contacted local councillor Linda Munro, who responded that she had been putting pressure on officials for months regarding the dropped kerb. She said the department involved was dealing with staff shortages and a reduced budget but that the work had been authorised.
Mr Gilbert registered a complaint on the Highland Council website on July 1 but received no response in the time stipulated.
He said: “Surely in this day and age this very minor job, which would give major benefits to the disabled and infirm of Bettyhill should have been completed immediately it was authorised.”
Highland Council said the work had been carried out on August 26.