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Broken doorbell puts us at risk, says OAP
A PENSIONER has demanded Swindon Council take action to repair the doorbell to her apartment which has been broken for three months.
Joan Gibbard lives in sheltered accommodation at Cockram Court and her apartment, along with five others, has been without an access bell since June.
She says not only does this leave her feeling isolated but it also presents a medical risk to other residents.
The council has said it has attempted to fix the bell but found it beyond repair.
“I have not had a visitor for months and we have missed mail deliveries,” said Joan, a mum of four.
“We cannot hear when someone has arrived.
“Even if I know there is someone there, by the time I have got down the stairs to let them in they have gone.
“When I shut the door at night and it’s just me I feel trapped.
“I don’t think I’m asking for too much and it won’t cost a great deal to sort.”
There are a number of other residents who live in the same block who rely on medication deliveries.
As they are not made at set times residents have to rely on family members being free to keep an eye out.
There is a number to call to reach a warden if someone needs to get in but they are not always available and do not work weekends.
This is not the first time the property has had problems with the bell, but when it broke in 2008 the matter was fixed quickly and efficiently.
On that ocassion, Joan received a letter from the council’s head of housing, Bernie Brannon, which said fixing the bell was a 24-hour job, leaving Joan wondering why it has not been done after so long.
“Any average person could fix the bell without any problem so I don’t understand why someone cannot just come along and sort it out,” said Joan, who sufferers from cataracts.
“I have tried contacting everyone I can at the council but I have heard very little from them.
“A while ago we were told there were going to be marvellous new bells installed, which would mean there was a screen so we could see who was at the door.
“I reckon they are waiting until the new bell is ready but we need something temporary put in.”
A Swindon Borough Council spokesman said: “We tried to repair the door entry audio system at Cockram Court on two occasions, but unfortunately it was beyond repair.
“We could not install a new system straight away as we had to conduct a tender process.
“A new video intercom system will be installed for the whole of Cockram Court in the next few weeks.”
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