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Faulty lift leaves pensioner in fury

PUBLISHED: 14:57 21 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

By Jessica Nicholls



AN ELDERLY man who lives in an Ipswich high rise tower claims he is trapped in his flat because of a faulty lift.

War veteran Charles Simpson is struck down by rheumatoid arthritis and has to walk aided by sticks.

By Jessica Nicholls

AN ELDERLY man who lives in an Ipswich high rise tower claims he is trapped in his flat because of a faulty lift.

War veteran Charles Simpson is struck down by rheumatoid arthritis and has to walk aided by sticks.

The 81-year-old lives on the ninth floor of the sheltered housing accommodation, Cumberland Towers on Norwich Road, but for the past two weeks one of the lifts has been permanently out of action.

Although there is another lift in working order, it does not stop on the ninth floor, meaning that Mr Simpson has to stop at the eighth or tenth floor and negotiate a flight of stairs to get home.

He said he regularly used to go out of his flat but now finds himself trapped indoors with just a view of Ipswich and his TV for company because he cannot get to the lift.

He said: "On a beautiful day I would normally be out and about but instead I am stuck in here.

"It is not very nice for me to have to go up and down the stairs as I have to wear surgical boots.

"To get from my own door to the lift is bad enough."

Mr Simpson's problem has been made worse by the fact that he suffered a heart attack six months ago and was confined to his bed for a long time, causing his legs to weaken.

Like many of the residents in the 14-storey tower Mr Simpson was looking into getting a mobility buggy or scooter so he could get out and about more easily.

But the broken lift has put paid to his bid for independence, as he would have to keep the scooter in his flat.

He said: "There is no way I would be able to get one of those up the stairs with me as well so I decided not to get one at all.

"I came here ten years ago when my wife died because it is handy for the shops but now I can't even get out."

Mr Simpson said the lift regularly breaks down at least once a week but it has never been out of action for as long as two weeks before.

He said: "They did actually fix it but it broke down the same day.

"They said they cannot get parts for it but there must be lifts like this all over the country.

"It is rubbish."

A spokesman from Ipswich Borough Council said: "One of the two lifts has had ongoing problems. We are trying to take action for an effective repair and apologise to Mr Simpson and fellow residents for the inconvenience.

"We are trying our best to sort this out as soon as possible and are keeping residents informed as soon as we know when the repairs will be completed."

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