Fury over scaffolding bungle

IT was not quite a scene from Romeo and Juliet, but a scaffolding bungle left Karen Miller stranded upstairs while her husband, Brian was stuck downstairs.

IT was not quite a scene from Romeo and Juliet, but a scaffolding bungle left Karen Miller stranded upstairs while her husband, Brian was stuck downstairs.

Today, Mrs Miller is still trying to contain her anger after she claimed she felt like a “prisoner in her own home” after temporary scaffolding prevented her Ipswich flat.

When Karen Miller looked out of the door of her first floor flat on Halton Crescent she realised the outside stairs leading from the door to the ground were blocked because a scaffold had been erected.

And her husband, Brian, who had left the house before the scaffolding went up, was stuck at the bottom.

Mrs Miller, 33, said: “I couldn't get to work and I couldn't leave the house.

“They put up a rickety step ladder but I didn't feel safe getting down it or squeezing though the hole when they lifted up some of the boards on the scaffold and suggested I got out that way.

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“I kept thinking; what would happen if there was a fire because my only escape was blocked. I felt like a prisoner in my own home.”

The scaffolding had been installed at about 9am on Monday in order to repair the rending on property which had blown away.

The work was carried out by Ipswich-based OBO Scaffolding Company on behalf of Ipswich Borough Council, but although the couple's neighbours were informed the work was taking place Mr Miller, 37, said he had no idea.

He said: “We didn't hear anyone knock on the door and we didn't get a letter.

“We know the work has to be done but we should have known about it in advance.

“I am petrified of heights and always have been so there was no way I was going up the ladder so I have been stuck downstairs.

“Surely they could have found a way to do the work without blocking the entrance and exit to the house.”

Councillor Steven Wells, Ipswich Borough Council's Housing portfolio-holder said: “We would like to say sorry to the tenants for this breakdown in communication.

“Our normal procedure is to always talk to tenants first but in this case we can only apologise for the inconvenience caused.

“We are looking at our procedures to ensure this does not happen again.”