A HEDGEHOG hospital is threatened with closure after 22 years because hard-hearted Poole Council won’t let a disabled pensioner keep a big black bin.
Borough of Poole is refusing to back down and let Angela Squires, who runs CRASH at Canford Heath keep her marginally larger black bin to dispose of waste from the rescued animals cages.
“After 22 years all the good I have done is going to be stopped,” said the 69-year-old, who suffers from osteoporosis and recently cracked a rib trying to force bags of soggy newspaper bedding into a waste bin that often overflows.
“They are going to stop a valuable service that’s free,” said a distraught Angela, who continues to plough her pension into treating and releasing 2,000 sick and injured hedgehogs a year despite her own problems including brittle bones, a heart condition and cataracts.
“It is a tiny little thing. I am absolutely desperate,” she said, adding that the council’s alternatives of her travelling to the tip, or paying for a second bin, were impossible and she pointed out council staff often used CRASH.
Bureaucrats have introduced a bin swap policy of replacing 240-litre black bins with 180-litre waste bins and a larger blue recycling bin and are unmoved by pleas from Angela to help her continue her valuable work. She has now set up a Facebook campaign.
“I don’t want the earth, I want to be able to keep my black bin as a special case,” she said. “I won’t be doing this forever. Then they can swap the bin.”
Canford Heath East councillor Sandra Moore, who has lobbied the council on Angela’s behalf pointed out that she had a pull-out service for her bin due to her disability.
“All they have to do is let her keep what she has now,” she said. “It’s not rocket science. It’s an exception and it’s not going to cause a precedent.
“There’s only one hedgehog hospital.”
SHAUN Robson, head of environmental and consumer protection, Borough of Poole said: “We do sympathise with Mrs Squires’ situation. We hope she will try the new arrangements and contact us again if she finds this is not working so that we can provide further advice on the options available to her.
“Unfortunately, at a time when the council is having to save money because of significant budget reductions, it simply cannot afford to offer additional waste collections free of charge to supplement the weekly service it continues to provide.
“The only exception the council is prepared to consider is a medical one for residents with a lot of healthcare waste.”