Disabled vet forced to use toilet at supermarket six miles away


A DISABLED army veteran with leukaemia is using a supermarket toilet six miles from home because the facilities in his council property are unsuitable.

Bill Baxter has osteoarthritis which affects his lower spine and both his hips, making it very difficult to move without help.

Using the very narrow bathroom at his home in Fife causes the 64-year-old severe pain and he claims the local council is failing to help.

So Bill is forced to drive himself six miles to his local Asda where he uses the diasbled toilet.
Bill, who served with the Royal Artillery and Corps of Royal Engineers, now needs two sticks to get about his three-bedroom home in Burntisland.


Bill has to travel the six miles to use the Asda toilets


But his support frame cannot fit in the space between the toilet and the wall.

Despite the indignity, the veteran has trained himself to make four trips a week to Asda in Dalgety Bay to use the facilities there.

Bill says he has been asking the council, without success, for four years to move to a more suitable property and matters have now reached crisis point.

To make matters even worse, he also broke his hip after falling in the bath last month which has left him too scared to try to bathe again.


The journey Bill has to make when he needs to use the toilet


Bill’s daughter, Kimberley Wiggins, says she feels her dad has been “left to rot” and has even written to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in her desperation to get her father a move.

She said: “He drives the 15 or 20 minutes to his local Asda to use their toilet instead.

“My dad has worked all his life but been left to rot in the council house. I’m desperate for him to be comfortable. I’ve even emailed the First Minister for help. It’s not fair.”

Bill said: “I suffer in pain 24-7, even during the night. I just want to downgrade.

“I’m sitting here in a three bedroom house with subsidised rent. How much money is the council losing when they can let it out and get full rent for it?

“I need a wet room to wash in. I have to wash myself down and my carer comes in and mops up the floor.”



Ken Burns, Fife Council housing manager for housing access said: “There’s a shortage of accessible ground floor properties in the areas Mr Baxter has selected.

“We’ve spoken to him about his current options in relation to his needs and choice of house types.

“We’ll continue working with Mr Baxter to ensure he is given adequate support while we wait for a housing opportunity to become available.”

Speaking today, Bill, who served in Germany during the Cold War, said: “It’s diabolical really that I have to go to Asda to use their toilet – it’s been happening for three months now.

“I don’t have enough space in the bathroom here. The frame is too low and the sink gets in the way.”

He added: “The disabled toilet in Asda is better because it’s adapted and the seat is higher off the ground.

“It’s a hard walk once I get to Asda from the car park. It’s not far but because I have my sticks, it takes a long time.

“The housing officer did come out to visit but it was a load of b*****s. I said I wanted a wet room but was told there was no chance i’d get that.

“The three bedroom house here is far too big. The council are wasting money when there could be a family in here.”