‘Let them eat sandwiches’ Alleged advice after cooker breaks

“EAT sandwiches” — that’s what a vulnerable woman was allegedly told after she was left without a cooker.

“EAT sandwiches”  — that’s what a vulnerable woman was allegedly told after she was left without a cooker.

Kathryn Dalton (43), of Lockwood Close, East Herringthorpe, has a number of serious health problems, including COPD, asthma, emphysema and extreme iron deficiency.

When her gas cooker “packed in”, she was in trouble as she needs “normal” food to function.

Her upset partner John Smith (38) said when RMBC fitted a kitchen for Kathryn last year, the points where the electrics were supposed to connect had not been covered.

He added: “After the gas cooker packed in, the council came out and dropped her an electric cooker off.

“They realised they couldn’t fit it so they sent a repair man out.

“The one-man team came out and said: ‘Right, I can’t do this, I’m going to have to take the full kitchen out. I’m going to put it as an emergency repair.’

“We’re still here a week later with exposed electrics in the kitchen and I’ve been phoning the council day in and out asking about what’s happened to this repair.

“I told them my partner was suffering from extreme breathing problems, she gets up and is running out of breath, she just can’t be living the way she is without cooking supplies in the kitchen but they said: ‘We’ll get back to you, we’ll get back to you.’

“We just got a text message saying they’re coming out to repair it this week.

“I phoned them and told them that’s going to be well over two weeks she’s been left without an electric cooker and with exposed electrics.”

Instead of instant help, they had only received an “attitude”, John added.

He said: “This is a quote from Dan on repair: ‘Eat sandwiches.’

“That’s what exactly he said to me.”

According to John, once the Advertiser got involved, the ball started rolling and the council got in touch to arrange for a microwave so Kathryn did not have to live off sandwiches until the works were done.

A spokesperson for Rotherham Council said: “We have worked with the tenant and provided alternative cooking appliances so that she can continue to prepare food in her home.

“We are also working with contractors to make sure that the work is completed as quickly as possible.

“We would like to apologise to the resident for the inconvenience and frustration caused.”