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Disabled pensioner stuck in second-floor flat because it’s ‘too hot’ to fix lifts

A disabled pensioner has been left trapped in her second-floor flat because it is ‘too hot’ to fix the lifts.

Valerie Roache, who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe arthritis, has become a prisoner in her own home after the council admitted that they couldn’t repair the lifts for at least a month because of the weather.

Brighton and Hove City Council said the lifts stopped working because the heatwave made the shafts too hot.

Valerie Roache can’t leave her Brighton flat (Picture: The Argus/Sax Rohmer) 

The 67-year-old lives in a block of flats in Kite Place West in Whitehawk, Brighton, East Sussex.

Valerie said: ‘The lift has been out of order since Monday last week, and I rely on my mobility scooter to get around.

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‘When I came back from holiday I found the lifts had broken and they said it is too hot for them to be repaired.

‘They offered me and my daughter, who is my carer, a room at an old people’s home, but it was one small room, with no cooking facilities, no television and no bathroom.’

She said the council had paid for a neighbour to be put in a hotel with her husband and their dog.

Kite Place West in Whitehawk, Brighton (Picture: Brighton & Hove City Council)

The 67-year-old lives in a block of flats in Kite Place West in Whitehawk, Brighton, East Sussex (Picture: Brighton & Hove City Council)

She continued: ‘It’s frustrating, I have an appointment coming up with a specialist at the hospital, but it could be four weeks until the lifts are repaired.’

The council said in a statement to local newspaper The Argus: ‘We know this is frustrating and inconvenient for residents and we are doing everything possible to remedy the situation and keep people informed.

‘The five storey building, which opened this spring, has two lifts. Prolonged high temperatures during the heatwave have caused the lifts to stop working because the lift shafts are too hot.

‘In the short term we have opened air vents in staircases adjacent to the lift shafts to reduce temperatures. These will enable us to get the lifts working again as soon as possible.’

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