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I am writing this to those officers involved in the fairly recent destruction of our 3rd floor communal 'garden' in Crescent House, and to inform you of the consequences of your actions. 

Dear Sirs

On the day you came to take it all away I tried desperately to plead with you, but you refused to speak to me.  My doctor had warned you what would happen to me if you took it away but you ignored medical advice.  As a result, out of immense fear, I tried to jump over the landing railings, because I cannot survive without it as it's my 'mechanism' for coping with my severe OCD,  but a policeman caught me and pulled me to safety.  As I lay in an ambulance, in total shock, instead of checking on my condition, you took that as the opportunity to desecrate the garden.  You gave no thought for my welfare.  In total I stayed in hospital for 2 weeks.

You have never recognised my illness as a disability.  Is it because its a mental one and not a physical one?  You cannot see it so you don't understand its existence. It is extremely serious and I am on maximum medication for a vile illness that totally controls my whole life and dominates my thoughts.  When I tended the garden I found freedom from the 'pain', but you have destroyed my therapy, and ability to cope, and condemned me to a life where I will be in and out of hospital, or even worse.

Because of you, my partner, who is elderly with dementia was left on his own.  You were too busy destroying a thing of beauty, and failed to call Social Services, and as a result of your negligence he had a fall and was found confused in the downstairs café, where staff called an ambulance and he spent 2 days in hospital, frightened and confused and upset because I was not there.  I was under sedation in hospital. 
I had been working so hard for months to reduce items there, but that accounted for nothing with you.  You knew I was arranging for another fire safety inspection but you refused to allow it.  Why?  You falsely claimed in 'City Matters' that you 'were forced' to remove the garden under a Court Order.  You know that is not true.  The Court ruled the garden be reduced to medium to low risk, following recommendations made by fire safety experts, at a mutual on site meeting.  However, as you know, at that meeting, attended by witnesses, you gave them hardly any chance to speak to me, and you totally monopolised the meeting, instead of listening to the experts.  It was you, not them, who ordered the garden to be removed. 

You omitted to mention the other part of the Court Order, in the paper, where the Judge ruled that a fellow officer was banned from any further contact with me, after I had suffered periods of bullying and harassment, and been falsely accused of assault.  I was innocent of this, and the police dropped the charges.  So, you have a colleague who is guilty of gross misconduct, but instead of addressing this you instead choose to 'attack' me, a disabled person.  And, to add insult to injury you allow this very person to take charge of the destruction of the garden.  I know this as a reporter took his photograph at the time. 

Not only have you totally put my welfare at risk, and caused avoidable distress to my partner, you have upset so many people who loved the garden, as it belonged to all of us, and had done so for 20 years.  I am so grateful for their kindness and support, and I wish them a very Happy Christmas, and my thanks.  I am afraid I cannot extend those wishes to you, as I am not a hypocrite.  All I can hope is that you learn from this, and change your attitude when dealing with disabled people, as, unless you do, one day you may be the cause of a tragedy. 

Yours faithfully

Maria Elizabeth Prior.

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I would like to thank all my neighbours, friends, and other residents for their messages of support, and their opposition to the disgraceful destruction of the roof garden I had tended for 20 years, which was appreciated by so many, including guest flat users, whom many I had met, from all over the world, and who were delighted to have this facility as part of their stay with us on Golden Lane.  Those whom I have spoken to since the violation of it are disgusted, and it shows the City in a very bad light.
However, we all believe in justice.  I know that, at this time of festive goodwill, that it will be achieved.  Bless you all for caring, and understanding the needs of those with disabilities, and I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas, and a Very Happy New Year.  I am too unwell to really enjoy Christmas, but I have gained strength from your kind support.  XXXXX

The following is a PS to my original Open Letter. 

Today I saw that you have removed some Christmas decorations I put on the landing, out of anyone's way, including 2 tiny Christmas trees, and a small pot, that my partner had filled with festive 'foliage'.  Congratulations on upsetting an elderly man with dementia!  They were Christmas decorations, for goodness sake.  Its obvious they were just there for the festive season.  Why do you act in such a vindictive way for no reason at all? 

Remarkable that in 2017 government employees have such regressive attitudes towards mental health, thought those prejudices were a thing of the past.

Thanks Nathan.  Sadly, they don't seem to understand their duties under the Equality Act. 
And, on a further note, all our lights on my half of the landing are out, and we are in darkness.  This has happened so many times before, and the only thing that kept the area lit were my solar lights, but they were also all taken away for 'safety reasons'.  You could not make this up. 

nathan said:

Remarkable that in 2017 government employees have such regressive attitudes towards mental health, thought those prejudices were a thing of the past.

Many of us got a letter from the Estate Office today, telling residents off for some apparently using the 3rd floor landing as a 'dumping site', and saying its a risk to safety etc. (If they are so concerned about safety why have we been left in darkness all this time?)  For the 20 years the 'roof garden' had been there we never had this sort of problem.  Now, we have, along with other empty landings.  The City only have themselves to blame for this.  Where once the landing was appreciated by all, including visitors, now its an embarrassment. It is so sad, and heart breaking.


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