Buckinghamshire Council has refused to compensate a grandmother who broke her shoulder when she fell down a manhole.

Georgina Heyburn, 47, fell into the manhole near her home after stepping on the loose lid that was covering the shaft by the side of the A413 in Aylesbury, which has since been repaired.

The former carer demanded compensation for the hairline fracture to her shoulder, as well as the ongoing pain and difficulties travelling that the accident has caused her.

She made a formal claim against the council through her solicitors in March.

But the local authority has refused to pay out, telling Georgina this week that it was not aware the manhole was faulty at the time of her fall.

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An email from the council’s claims department, seen by the Bucks Free Press, reads: “To clarify, your claim was investigated on the basis that the cover did belong to Buckinghamshire Council.

“But we have a defence in law as we had no knowledge prior to your incident that the cover was misplaced or defective.”

The council told the Aylesbury resident that she had a right to appeal their decision or could refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Reacting to the news that she would receive compensation for her accident, Georgina said it was ‘awful and disappointing’.

She told the Free Press: “This shows they don’t care about their residents of Aylesbury.

“I would really like to publish this so other residents are aware of how badly the council treat their residents and even though they have apologised and also said in the article that my claim is being processed they are still refusing to compensate. I think this should be made public.”

The council, which has finished processing Georgina’s claim, initially claimed the manhole was owned by UK Power Networks.

However, it then backtracked and confirmed that ‘on closer inspection’ and after ‘discussions with UKPN’, the manhole was a redundant traffic signals chamber belonging to the council.

The council said it had apologised to UKPN ‘for the mix up’ and had also given its sincere apologies to Georgina.

However, the resident did not initially receive an apology from the council as had been claimed.

The council subsequently apologised to Georgina over the accident, before issuing another apology for not apologising the first time.

The resident has had to undergo physiotherapy for her injuries and take hydrocortisone injections to deal with the pain.

She previously told the Free Press of the accident: “I was absolutely petrified. I thought that was it. I am only small, and I thought I was going to be stuck in there forever. I am lucky I didn’t go unconscious as I did hit the side.”

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