Disabled Sheffield resident 'trapped' in flat block for five days after council fails to fix door

A disabled Sheffield resident says the council’s failure to fix a front door has ‘trapped’ her in her flat for five days.
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Scarlot Murray, 41, says the door handle to the communal entrance at her shared flat block on Lupton Road, Lowedges, broke away in a postie’s hand on Thursday, October 27 and was unusable until Sheffield Council finally replaced it after five days. As a disabled person, the entrance is the only one Scarlot can use to get in and out of the building.

But despite this, Sheffield Council missed two appointments to come out and fix it and let the problem stand for over five days. In fact, it took Scarlot’s partner grabbing her keys off her through their window, using a fob-locked door at the back of the building and jimmying the busted door open with a screwdriver just so residents could wedge it open during the day.

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“We feel completely neglected as residents,” Scarlot told The Star. “The front entrance is the only one I can use as a disabled person and it was completely broken. If there had been a fire or some kind of accident in that time I hate to think what would have happened.

A disabled Sheffield resident had to ask her partner to come over, take her keys through the window, use a fob controlled back door and jimmy the communal entrance to her flat block open with a screwdriver after the handle broke away and the council failed to come out and fix it.A disabled Sheffield resident had to ask her partner to come over, take her keys through the window, use a fob controlled back door and jimmy the communal entrance to her flat block open with a screwdriver after the handle broke away and the council failed to come out and fix it.
A disabled Sheffield resident had to ask her partner to come over, take her keys through the window, use a fob controlled back door and jimmy the communal entrance to her flat block open with a screwdriver after the handle broke away and the council failed to come out and fix it.

“We told the council on the Thursday, and they said they would be out before the end of the day, but they never came. We called the next day and they then said it would be within the next 48 hours. They didn’t come. I called their emergency line over the weekend, and they said they would come out Monday.

“We had the door wedged open during the day just so we could use it and shut it at night for safety – meaning we had to force it open again the next day. If my partner didn’t come over, the only way to do that is to climb through the window, which I can’t do with my disability.

“It’s completely disgusting. It’s caused me a lot of stress and worry. I feel like they’ve got no regard for us as residents.”

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The Star understands the door handle was replaced on Monday evening (October 31).

Scarlot sent The Star a video of her partner trying to force the broken door open with a screwdriver just so she could leave the flat.Scarlot sent The Star a video of her partner trying to force the broken door open with a screwdriver just so she could leave the flat.
Scarlot sent The Star a video of her partner trying to force the broken door open with a screwdriver just so she could leave the flat.

Tom Smith, Sheffield City Council’s director of direct services, said: “We are sorry that this repair wasn’t carried out quickly enough and we apologise for the stress and inconvenience that it caused to our tenant. We are sending a joiner to fix the handle and an electrician from our door entry team to repair the fob system this afternoon.”