A PENSIONER is refusing to be a prisoner in her own flat. 

The Herald received a phone call back in August about 91-year-old Freda Chapman, who lives in Canvas Court. Because of a faulty lift Freda had been trapped in her home for nine weeks. 

Out of concern for Freda’s well-being, Debbie Lewis contacted us. In August the manager said the lift had been fixed, but Debbie has got back in touch. The lift is once again out of order and has been for eight weeks.

Debbie said: “I am furious that she has to deal with this at her age. She has arthritis, and back and leg problems. Why should she be a prisoner in her own home? Freda lives on the second floor and I know that she wouldn’t have bought her flat if she knew she wouldn’t have access to the lift. I am really concerned about her.”

Freda said: “I am 91. It is a real struggle to get out of my flat. It is really affecting me, having to physically struggle to go up and down the stairs, but what do I do? I either struggle or I am stuck in and I refuse to be trapped in my flat. 

“It’s not just me who is affected. There’s a family upstairs with a pram and little children who are also struggling. There were issues with the lift last year as well. I just worry that it is going to go on and on and on.”

Christian Reid, who manages Canvas Court, said that it is up to the residents who own their property “to fund the running of the development themselves” and that management will then “implement their decisions”. According to Mr Reid a new door has been ordered and will be fitted within the next seven days. 

“This ongoing problem is nobody’s fault, and all the residents are rallying around to help each other. They have an AGM in December to discuss a plan. Inevitably the age of the lift and the recent remedial repairs suggest that either a comprehensive overhaul or replacement may be required. 

“They need to work out a financial plan which will allow them to meet ongoing costs.”