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Festive TV fans give mast thumbs down

PUBLISHED: 02:18 18 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

PENSIONERS could be left facing a bleak Christmas unless vital equipment arrives today to boost the quality of their television reception.

The residents at a very sheltered housing complex in Magdalen Road, Hadleigh, have encountered problems with their television signal since a new communications mast was installed at the nearby police station.

PENSIONERS could be left facing a bleak Christmas unless vital equipment arrives today to boost the quality of their television reception.

The residents at a very sheltered housing complex in Magdalen Road, Hadleigh, have encountered problems with their television signal since a new communications mast was installed at the nearby police station.

Arthur Rawlings, chairman of the Sydney Brown Court residents' association, is now keen to see the matter rectified as soon as possible as a number of people at the site are "practically" house bound and will have little alternative entertainment for the festive period.

"A lot of the residents are wheelchair bound and practically confined to their homes. We started having trouble with reception, so called in an engineer to find out why," he said.

"It turned out it was the mast. For a couple of nights the pictures came back but since then they have got worse and worse.

"The problem is a lot of the residents are going to be here over Christmas with no-one to take them out and television's their only means of entertainment."

Babergh District Council, which is responsible for the sheltered housing schemes affected, said it had been difficult to find out who controlled the digital mast, which will be used for the new national Tetra police communications network currently being installed throughout Suffolk.

David Clarke, the authority's principal housing officer, said: "Numerous government agencies were involved in commissioning and regulating the mast and we have finally managed to contact the appropriate body who have recommended the installation of a filter and amplifier to our communal aerial."

He said they had been assured the equipment would be delivered today> and promised it would be installed as quickly as possible.

"It doesn't matter whose responsibility the mast is. At the end of the day I'm interested in the vulnerable older people living in these schemes facing a bleak Christmas without televisions."


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