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Fed up 89-year-old woman has had scaffolding on her house for two years

PUBLISHED: 13:33 11 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:02 12 August 2018

Patricia Frere-Smith standing next to the scaffolding which she says is preventing her from accessing her mobility scooter. Picture: Sabrina Johnson

Patricia Frere-Smith standing next to the scaffolding which she says is preventing her from accessing her mobility scooter. Picture: Sabrina Johnson

Archant

An 89-year-old who has had to put up with scaffolding on the side of her home for more than two years says she feels let down by Norwich City Council, which is responsible for the building works.

Patricia Frere-Smith standing next to the scaffolding which she says is preventing her from accessing her mobility scooter. Picture: Sabrina JohnsonPatricia Frere-Smith standing next to the scaffolding which she says is preventing her from accessing her mobility scooter. Picture: Sabrina Johnson

The scaffolding was first erected by the side of Patricia Frere-Smith’s flat in Pearcefield Close in order to make repairs to a staircase at the side of the property.

But Mrs Frere-Smith said it was now more than two years since the structure was put up and, despite numerous complaints to the council the scaffolding is still in place and she said it was having a negative impact on her day-to-day life.

Explaining that the scaffolding was preventing her from accessing her mobility scooter and outside storage space without assistance, the retired fashion illustrator said the problem had gone on too long.

She said: “I’m concerned about the light in my kitchen and you cannot have the windows open. I would be able to put up with it for a little bit but now it’s been too long.”

The scaffolding outside Patricia Frere-Smith's house which she says is preventing her from accessing her mobility scooter. Picture: Sabrina JohnsonThe scaffolding outside Patricia Frere-Smith's house which she says is preventing her from accessing her mobility scooter. Picture: Sabrina Johnson

She said she and her sons had sent a number of complaints to the council asking when the repair work to the staircase would be completed and the scaffolding removed.

She added: “I’m fed up with the council - there is no contact between anyone.

“I feel let down by the them, I think it’s a disgrace.

“If I had to raise the money on my flat because I have to go into a home, who will buy it? My flat is losing its value. I’m 89 and 90 next year and I’ve had enough.”

A council spokesman said: “We understand the frustration caused by delays to getting a new staircase built and have kept scaffolding in place as a precautionary measure, as well as carrying out weekly safety checks.

“The delay has happened because repairs to external staircases are grouped together so that they can be completed by one contractor, representing better value for money than replacing them individually.

“This work is on the schedule for this financial year and we thank residents for their patience.”

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