Concern for older residents as tower block lift not fixed after two weeks

PUBLISHED: 07:30 07 October 2020

Some residents in Ipswich's Cumberland Towers have been without a lift for more than two weeks   Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL

Some residents in Ipswich's Cumberland Towers have been without a lift for more than two weeks Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL


Families have raised concerns over the safety of older residents at an Ipswich tower block as a broken lift is yet to be fixed after two weeks.

Residents living on even-numbered floors at Cumberland Towers, in Norwich Road, have been without a lift after it broke down on Friday, September 18.

As a result, they have had to take a separate lift which solely serves odd-numbered floors and walk up or down a flight of stairs to reach their flat.

Families however have raised concerns that the towers’ older residents – all of whom are over the age of 60 – may suffer injuries while carrying their shopping, trolleys or zimmer-frames.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Borough Council said the delay in repair is due to issues sourcing parts.

The family member of one resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said several requests have been made to the building’s scheme manager to get the lift fixed.

They said: “[More than] two weeks is a very long time for this person to be walking up and down stairs with a trolley and with no help.

“If this person fell on the stairs they could lay there for quite some time on the cold stairs with possible dire circumstances.”

The council spokeswoman said: “The council is working with our lift contractor to fix it as soon as possible but sourcing the replacement part is proving challenging.

“We will advise residents as soon as we know when the lift will be fixed. In the meantime, although it is regrettable that residents have to go down one flight of stairs to access the working lift, our scheme manager is available to assist any resident who may struggle with their shopping.”

A landmark on Ipswich’s skyline for more than 50 years, Cumberland Towers was built in the early 1960s to deal with the need to build new homes for the town.

By the late 1980s it had become a sheltered housing scheme after young families called for local authority housing with easier access to outdoor spaces for their children to play in.

Residents also spoke out earlier this year after it was revealed Royal Mail stopped delivering post to flats in the building during the coronavirus pandemic – leaving many self-isolating with the need to visit the local sorting office.

MORE: Royal Mail stops delivering post to Cumberland Towers

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