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Norwich couple's battle - for a bathroom sink

PUBLISHED: 06:30 15 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:28 02 July 2010

Lewis Bounden and Melissa Dye in their small bathroom in Gilbard Road, Norwich

Lewis Bounden and Melissa Dye in their small bathroom in Gilbard Road, Norwich

Tara Greaves

A young couple have been fighting a running battle with Norwich City Council to get what many people take for granted - a bathroom sink.

A young couple have been fighting a running battle with Norwich City Council to get what many people take for granted - a bathroom sink.

Melissa Dye and Lewis Bounden are unable to teach their young children to wash their hands before they leave the bathroom, because they have been without a basin in the room since they moved in.

Instead, the family either have to wash their hands and clean their teeth using the kitchen sink or by leaning over the bath - which the children struggle with.

The couple, who have three children, Angel Louise, six, Alisha, 19 months, and Hermione, three-and-a-half months, have been living in the two-bedroom city council-owned home in Gilbard Road, on the Larkman estate, for three years.

"We have tried; my mum has tried, Lewis's stepdad has tried - in fact everyone has tried to get something done.

"The last we heard was when two men came before Christmas to have a look and work out a way to put it in, but we haven't heard anything since," said full-time mum Melissa, 26.

Lewis, 25, who cooks in a chip shop, has given up hope that anything will be done in the downstairs bathroom, which is next to the kitchen.

"The council says the room is too small for a sink, but I don't think it is right to use the kitchen one. I don't think it is hygienic," added Melissa.

In the 1940s and 1950s homes were often built without a hand basin in the bathroom as it was not a requirement then.

A Norwich City Council spokesman said: "The council cannot comment on individual cases, but pieces of work of this kind are not repairs and can be time-consuming and expensive.

"Because of this, they have to be scheduled into the council's work programme and this is usually done the following financial year."

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