Council apologises after telling mum her son was dead

Council apologises after telling mum her son was dead

By David Parker | 11/08/2020

Council apologises after telling mum her son was dead
Alive and well: John Kwiatowski with mum Ann


A MUM was shocked to receive a letter from the council about her son’s death — because he is in fact alive and well.

Ann Kwiatkowski (72) received condolences from Rotherham Council by mail on Saturday.

She was asked to cancel son John Kwiatkowski’s tenancy — but John (53) had seen his mum minutes before she read the letter.

Rotherham Council has now apologised for the error and the upset it has caused.

Ann, of The Lanes, East Dene, said: “I had only just left John’s and I was taking some stuff back home.

“I found a brown envelope in my door, I opened it and read it and I thought they were talking about me at first.

“They were telling me John’s died. It’s just sick to get a letter like that.”

Ann said the letter had caused her to suffer a panic attack.

“For them to terminate a tenancy they have got to have a death certificate,” she added.

To make matters worse, the council spelled Ann’s surname badly wrong — despite getting it right in references to her son.

John said he had visited his mum again soon after she had received the letter.

He said: “How can they send that letter out without a death certificate?

“She’s still upset about it.

“A council officer told my mum it was an admin error.”

John said he was in good health.

“It’s a good job I wasn’t away for the weekend,” he said.

"Mum’s still shaken up.

“Reading that her eldest son’s died, it would be comical if it wasn’t so serious.

“My mother thinks it’s someone doing it maliciously.”

John said his mum had been advised to make a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The council’s assistant director of housing, Tom Bell, said: “We sincerely apologise for the error and any upset it may have caused.

“Errors of this nature are rare due to the processes we have in place, however, the council is looking into this case so that these circumstances can be avoided in the future. 

“Our teams are working closely with Mr Kwiatkowski and his mother to ensure they receive the answers and support they require.”


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