Cancer sufferer ‘poorly treated’ by council

JPCT 121112 Ciba Shanae - concerned about sale of horse meat in Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin.
JPCT 121112 Ciba Shanae - concerned about sale of horse meat in Horsham. Photo by Derek Martin.

A leukaemia sufferer who says the council accused her of harassment as she tried to get her accommodation sorted has demanded a full apology.

Ciba Shanae, 61, from Horsham, who admits she sometimes suffers memory loss as a result of medication taken to combat chronic myeloid leukaemia, was told in a letter from Horsham District Council under the heading of ‘harassment of staff’ that her ‘level of contact has become excessive and cannot continue’.

She said that she feels ‘poorly treated’ when attempts to rectify several issues with her private accommodation, which was found by HDC, and wanted to highlight her situation to eliminate the possibility that others might be similarly treated.

“My life is being taken no account of and what the council knew of my condition,” she said.

“It’s not just me at the end of the day.”

Ms Shanae receives Disability Living Allowance and was found private housing by HDC last summer, but says she has experienced constant problems.

After repeated attempts to try and spur the council into action, she felt she could no longer bring problems to its attention after two letters sent to her in December mentioning ‘harassment of staff’.

A spokesperson for HDC denied any complaint of harassment, said they could not comment on the case, and anyone dissatisfied with its services should contact HDC’s complaints officer.

Left without hot water and the use of her kitchen due to mould, which she cannot tolerate due to her condition, she says she had little option but to try and cancel her year-long tenancy agreement.

She is in talks with Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, and may move down to Somerset.

“I feel driven out. My trust is completely gone,” she added.

“We could have worked together to sort something out.”

She suggested the law be changed to force councils to bring in the relevant agencies when dealing with vulnerable people, and said she would like a full apology from Horsham District Council.