VULNERABLE residents in a building in Bridgwater have been left stranded without access to a working lift for more than three weeks.

And it appears the frustrated residents who live in West Bow House on West Street, some of whom struggle to get around with ease and need medication delivered, will still be without the lift for a further fortnight.

Westover ward town and district councillors Brian Smedley and Kathy Pearce have been pressing Homes in Sedgemoor to sort the issue after talking to residents on one of their ‘Westover Walkabouts’.

Cllr Smedley said “Residents have been frustrated over the years at what appears to be just lip service from Homes in Sedgemoor.

“They jot down notes and they say they’ll get things dealt with.

“But residents seem to raise the same issues month in month out.

“When we raised the lift issue they said it would be dealt with next day, but instead its another three-week wait, and this is for people who can’t get about easily, need medication delivered and rightly feel ignored.”

Cllr Pearce, who has recently argued the case at Sedgemoor District Council for returning the housing management service ‘in house’, said Homes in Sedgemoor’s response to the situation in West Bow House was unsatisfactory.

He said: “I wonder what servicing contract they have to identify problems areas and hopefully avoid such a situation? I note there hasn’t been any mention of a rent refund for affected residents.”

Homes in Sedgemoor said the lift had a “major component failure” and sourcing replacement parts had caused issues due to the age of the lift.

A spokesperson for Homes in Sedgemoor said: “We are aware the lift in West Bow House is out of order, and have been working closely with residents, offering extra support where necessary.

"We have kept residents up to date with the repair process, and put a number of measurements in place to ensure everyone continues to feel safe and comfortable in their own homes.

“During this period, we have upped the presence of our Homecheck Team and the Neighbourhood Officer will be working from West Bow House on Tuesday afternoons to offer assistance and a friendly face to residents. We are also working with MD Group to help residents with rubbish disposal. The safety of our tenants is paramount and we are currently working with any tenants unable to self-evacuate in an emergency where appropriate.

“As soon as we were made aware of the fault, engineers traced the issue to a failed drive fault. This was quickly corrected, however, further faults were found. Engineers worked with the manufacturer, who established a new control system was required. This has been ordered, however the works could take up to 3 weeks, as the part has to be designed specifically for the building.

“We are a customer first organisation and understand this issue will be frustrating to residents. But we would like to reassure everyone that we are doing all we can to fix the lift and will continue to offer extra support until the work is complete. If you have any concerns, contact our Customer Services team on 0800 585 360 or 01278 552400."

During the councillors’ Westover Walkabout, residents also highlighted issues with long-term unrepaired damage to railings, as well as litter and debris scattered around the Westfield Close area.

In Halswell Close there were damaged walls pointed out as well as an incident of uncollected rubbish.

Cllr Smedley added: “Now is the right time for Homes in Sedgemoor to get its act together.

“Any incoming chief executive would be shocked at the state of affairs here.”