Elderly Bishop's Stortford residents stranded in homes after lift failure
An elderly man with one leg and a woman recovering from a cancer operation are among residents who were stranded in their homes for three weeks after a lift failed at their sheltered housing block in Bishop's Stortford.
The occupants of Elliott Court in Legions Way, off Stansted Road – who pay nearly £4,000 a year in service charges – say they are disgusted it took so long to fix the lift and are angry with a lack of communication from management company First Port.
Doreen Senior, 80, who has lived in the block with her wheelchair-bound amputee husband Lewis, 88, for 12 years, said they were "really fed up". Lewis normally goes out three times a week but was stuck indoors for three weeks.
"It's disgusting it's taken this long," said Doreen, who revealed that after Lewis got stuck in the downstairs lounge, he had to slide his way up the stairs backwards on his bottom, with help from a resident from the second floor.
Neighbour Olive Saunders missed her birthday celebration with her family as her husband Wally is unable to use the stairs because he has spinal canal stenosis, meaning he cannot stand for long or walk. Olive, 80, has just had a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer and had to attend hospital follow-up appointments alone because her daughter Sue has to stay with Wally.
Sue rang First Port constantly, but despite the lift "playing up" back in October before it failed, it was not fixed until Wednesday (Dec 4) – when the Indie ran the story on its front page.
"We couldn't plan anything because they didn't tell us a date or time when it would be fixed," said Sue.
Olive was supposed to go for a meal to celebrate her birthday and missed seeing relatives in Oxfordshire. She said another resident in her 90s was stuck in her flat alone as she was unable to get out to see her friend.
A spokesperson for Elliott Court said: “We would like to apologise to the residents for the difficulties they have experienced due to the lift breakdown.
"Unfortunately, lifts do experience problems from time to time and occasionally can be difficult to fix. We fully appreciate the impact this lift breakdown has had on those confined to a wheelchair in particular.
"Our team is supporting residents by checking on them every day and carrying up their shopping and taking out their rubbish whilst the lift is under repair.”
More by this authorChris Carter