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Fury from Brighton tower block residents at broken lift
12:47pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in News
Elderly residents of a tower block are threatening to take Brighton and Hove City Council to court after they were trapped in their homes by broken lifts.
Since July 29, the 14-storey Dudeney Lodge in Upper Hollingdean Road has only had a partial lift service.
Residents claim they have been unable to leave their homes and say the council has ignored their pleas for help.
Graham Ennis, who lives in the block, said: “Many old ladies cannot even get out for a breath of air.
“People should not be treated like this.”
Mr Ennis said he had hand-delivered a letter for acting council chief executive Catherine Vaughan to the town hall, advising her the tenants were to launch court proceedings for a breach of the conditions of their lease by the local authority.
He has criticised the council for not responding to tenants’ phone calls or letters, and feels legal action is the last straw.
He said: “If there is an emergency, the rescue services need to be able to use the lift. Council officials have come to the building, ripped down various posters and gone off again. Something needs to be done.”
Neighbour Diane Hart, 70, said she was concerned that one of her neighbours, an 89-year-old who has recently had a hip operation, hadn’t left her home in more than two months.
Mrs Hart said: “I’m worried about her. It’s not healthy to stay indoors for so long. A new notice comes up every now and then but they never come when they say. It’s disgusting.”
Brighton and Hove City Council said staff had visited vulnerable residents at the block to ensure their needs are being met, along with keeping residents updated with information posters.
It said the delay in repairing the lift was because the equipment needed was no longer made, that it was “virtually impossible” to source replacement parts and that every breakdown needed a visit from a specialist.
A council spokesman said: “We understand the frustration of residents who are having difficulty accessing and leaving their homes and will continue to keep them fully informed.
“We hope to have the lift operating by the end of the month.”
Both lifts in the building are due for replacement between 2014 and 2015.
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