East Renfrewshire Council has been slammed for ordering a seriously-ll grandmother to pay a 20-year-old bill.

Cara Doherty, 36, was shocked when sheriff officers turned up at her family’s home to demand £4,390 worth of council tax owed by her mum Linda.

They said 66-year-old Linda, who has brain damage following a series of strokes, had to stump up the cash within 14 days.

Cara explained that her mum is no longer able to look after her own financial affairs and was therefore unable to defend the action.

However, the officers insisted the overdue amount, which dates back to 2001, had to be paid.

Cara has now urged council chiefs to waive the bill on compassionate grounds.

She moved back into the family home in 2019 after her dad Edward died and her mum took ill.

Cara said that, at the time, she was told there was no unpaid council tax on the property.

But, six months ago, she began receiving demands for the four-figure sum, which she disputed.

She said she was shocked when officers called at the family home with a court order for immediate payment.

Cara told the Barrhead News: “When my dad was alive, he always paid the council tax and we have evidence that our payments are up to date.

“My mother is in very poor health. Her only source of income is her state pension. She doesn’t have the money to pay the sheriff officers.”

Cara, who has a two-year-old son named Kieran, said retired bus driver Edward died from lung cancer in 2018, at the age of 80.

Her mum, who has two other grandchildren, then suffered a stroke and two heavy falls at home.

Cara added: “Mum has brain damage and doesn’t have the capacity to argue her case.

“She can’t remember yesterday, never mind 20 years ago.”

Cara gave up her job as a cleaner last year to look after Linda, who needs round-the-clock care, at their home in Newton Mearns.

She added: “I want the matter dropped on compassionate grounds, due to mum’s deteriorating health.”

”Our house also suffers from dampness, which makes things even worse.”

Cara has asked staff at Citizens Advice to take up her case and they are looking into the matter.

She said: “I’m disgusted at the way the council are treating my mum.”

“They are causing people with mental health issues a lot of stress, which is unacceptable, especially during a pandemic.”

Council chiefs said they “work closely” with residents who owe council tax.

A spokesperson added: “Discounts due to personal circumstances can be applied to council tax bills, which reduces the amount of money due to be paid.

“We would be happy to discuss this matter with Ms Doherty in an attempt to agree a suitable payment plan. Write-offs are only considered in very specific circumstances, when all avenues for collection have been exhausted.”