Cam couple's anger at mobility scooter 'ban'
11:46am Thursday 11th October 2012 in News By Daniel Chipperfield, senior reporter covering Dursley, Cam, Wotton-under-Edge, Sharpness, Slimbridge, Berkeley, Coaley, Uley, North Nibley, Stinchcombe and Cambridge
A ROW has erupted at a retirement home in Cam after a World War Two veteran was told he could not leave his mobility scooter outside his flat - despite being "stranded" without it.
Les Allum, 88, had a heart attack shortly after moving into the bungalow in Elm Lodge in February with his wife of 65 years, Kathleen, 85.
Mr Allum, an ex-chairman of Cam’s Royal British Legion branch, has since used his wife’s scooter to climb the steep incline to his car, which he would be unable to do otherwise.
He leaves the scooter beside his door, and covered, when not in use but this has not been well received by the lodge’s committee who say the scooter must be removed and left at the top of the hill, next to the car park.
"I’m just asking for a bit of bit of compassion until my heart is sorted out," said Mr Allum.
"I can’t get to my car. I still want my independence."
Mr Allum added: "I almost think they do not believe I have had a heart attack."
He served with the Royal Artillery during World War Two, fighting in Italy from 1942 to 1947 and has since conducted the Cam remembrance service for ten years. Secretary of the committee, Bridget Goring, said that the rules could not be bent for the couple and that their behaviour had caused concern.
"We’re not hard-hearted here, but rules are rules," she said.
"We do not have the facilities. It’s a very tight place, it’s very small."
Mrs Goring has accused the elderly couple of posting letters to residents explaining their situation, which is against committee procedure.
"They’re upsetting people in their nineties who don’t know what they’re talking about," she added.
Mr and Mrs Allum confirmed they had been sending letters to other residents, appealing for support for their situation.
Another committee member, John Norman, agreed with Mrs Goring that the couple, who ran Kayles Newsagents on Cam High Street for over 15 years, had caused unnecessary controversy.
He said: "I don’t think they are going to make any headway. I think we are are going to have to say to them 'What part of no is it that you do not understand?'
"If they hadn’t done everything they could to upset everybody here."
But Mr Allum believes he has been discriminated against and hopes a letter from his doctor will help the committee understand his situation.
"They do not see what I see, he is in pain," added Mrs Allum.
"I wonder where all the passion and sympathy has gone?"
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