Bognor Regis residents left trapped in homes

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Angry residents have demanded action after the latest breakdown in the lift at their Bognor Regis flats.

The current failure of the lift at The Hamlet is the fourth since previous breakdowns were highlighted in the Observer in March.

Top-floor resident Veronica Gibbs, who is in her late 60s, said: “The lift broke down on Saturday with four people inside it about 10am and we had to get the firefighters out to rescue them.

“We keep making phone calls to Arun District Council about the lift but they never return them.

“I know a couple of residents who can’t get out of their flats because they can’t get up and down the stairs.

“One of my friends is 88 on Wednesday but she can’t leave her flat because the lift is not working.”

Carol Marsh’s mother, Eileen English, 87, is disabled, arthritic, partially sighted and has angina and lives on the first floor.

Mrs Marsh said: “The only time my mother goes out to is to a day-care centre a couple of times a week.

“But she can’t do that when the lift is not working. She is imprisoned in her flat at the moment.”

The breakdown which prompted the original article in the Observer was the lift’s fourth spell not working for up to three weeks between January and April.

A council spokeswoman said: “An engineer was sent to The Hamlet on Tuesday morning after we received reports the lift had broken down again to investigate.

“We are aware of the ongoing problems with the lift but the fault has been something different every time it has broken down.

“We have replaced the motor and the hydraulic tank, the main running gear, but there is obviously still something wrong.

“A council officer went to The Hamlet on Tuesday morning when we heard the lift was not working to help residents take their rubbish out for collection and assist where we could.

“We are currently waiting for the engineer to report back to us about what the fault is.

“We do sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused to residents and will do all we can to resolve the problem as quickly as we can once we know what the fault is.”