THE wife of a Lochwinnoch man trapped in his home has issued a desperate plea for the installation of disabled access.

Former Scottish soul star Tommy Gray suffers from multiple sclerosis and cannot leave his Lade Court flat without being carried down the stairs.

Tommy, 76, and wife Liz, 73, had been set to receive disabled access to their property before Renfrewshire Council chiefs decided it could not be done as the land surrounding their flat is common ground.

While accepting the ground is not wholly the council’s, Tommy and Liz are pleading for the council’s social work department to look into an alternative.

Liz told The Gazette: “He is completely housebound and it has been difficult for us.

“I keep thinking, what am I going to do if there is a fire?

“It is only three to four feet of common ground and it wouldn’t interfere with anyone.

“Before going ahead and building anything, we would make sure to check with all of our neighbours that it is okay.

“Even if we could just get a basic ramp, it would mean Tommy wouldn’t be stuck.”

Liz says Renfrewshire Council care staff suggested to her she could hire some people to carry Tommy down the stairs, but the couple rejected this.

Once a member of the 1960s soul group, the Hi Fi Combo, which hit the top 20 in the charts in 1966, the pensioner’s condition has steadily deteriorated in recent months.

The desperate couple are being supported in the plea by ward councillor Andy Doig, who is demanding the council takes action.

He added: “I am angry as, frankly the social work department must have protocols for this as I am sure this is not an unusual situation.

“All Mr Gray’s neighbours are sympathetic and surely some accommodation can be found to allow Mr Gray the dignity and freedom to leave his own home, never mind the predicament he would be in if there was a fire in the property.

“The Social Work Department is failing to recognise Mr Gray’s fundamental human rights to access and leave his own house, so I want action for Mr Gray and I want it soon.”

A Renfrewshire health and social care partnership spokesperson said: “We have been assisting Mr and Mrs Gray to identify a suitable solution, noting the significant complexities for them to consider any adaptations to the private block of flats.”