AN East Renfrewshire mum has slammed council chiefs for refusing to pay compensation after a bin lorry leaked gallons of oil over her driveway.

Helene Kee, 55, said the spillage caused £5,000 worth of damage at her home, which she can’t afford to repair.

The leak came from hydraulic shafts used to lift bins on to the back of refuse lorries.
It’s understood a hose pipe burst.

However, insurers have told mum-of-three Helene that East Renfrewshire Council is not liable for any damage or repairs.

The incident happened on July 13 last year as the lorry was parked outside Helene’s home in Uplawmoor and staff were emptying her bin.

She watched in horror as the hydraulic oil spilled from the lorry and then flowed down her driveway.

A council supervisor who called at Helene’s home later that morning to survey the damage arranged for sand to be put over the spillage in a bid to absorb the oil.

Helene claims she was then told the council would pay for repairs through its insurers.

She obtained an estimate and was told it would cost around £5,000 to dig out the oil and make the necessary repairs.

Helene is now accusing the council of reneging on a promise to fix her driveway.

In January this year, six months after the accident, the council’s insurers wrote to Helene to say they were not accepting liability and would not be paying out.

She told the Barrhead News: “East Renfrewshire originally told me it would all go through their insurance. Now they are washing their hands of the whole thing.

“I can’t afford to do the work myself or take them to court.

“Nine months later, my driveway is in the same state that the council left it – soaked in oil and covered in sand.

“I am an honest taxpayer who has been treated abhorrently by East Renfrewshire Council.”
Helene, who is a full-time mum, said the dispute has caused her “a great deal of anxiety.”

Bin lorry crew switched off the lorry when the oil began spilling out.

However she claims that one of the operatives then switched it back on again and even more oil spilled out.

She added:”This whole episode has caused me a great deal of anxiety.

“My house has been devalued because of the condition of the driveway and I don’t think I would be able to sell it at present,” she added.

“The council have told me to claim on my home insurance but why should I do that and be out of pocket?

“It is immoral what the council are doing to me here.”
Council chiefs confirmed their insurers carried out an investigation after the spillage.

A spokesperson said: “They concluded that we had not been negligent and therefore were not liable in this claim.

“We did not give assurance that we would cover costs for cleaning or replacing the driveway.”