Pensioner 'trapped' in home begs council to tidy up 'hazardous' complex

Paul Carter and his mum Madeleine

Paul Carter and his mum Madeleine have been trying to get the council to take action for months, but have only managed to get an answer through the Evening News - Credit: Paul Carter

A pensioner who is too afraid to leave her home because of the “obstacle course” of broken paving stones outside has turned to the Evening News for help.

Madeleine Carter, 84, has lived at Whitebeam Court in Motum Road in Norwich for 25 years — but for the last six months has hardly stepped out of her council-owned bungalow for fear she'll trip and go flying.

Her son Paul said he has asked Norwich City Council dozens of times to fix uneven paving slabs, overhanging branches and broken benches, as well as remove the growing piles of rubbish but "nothing has been done".

Madeleine Carter and her son Paul said issues at Whitebeam Court had been going on for months

Madeleine Carter and her son Paul said issues at Whitebeam Court had been going on for months - Credit: Paul Carter

Hanging branches at Whitebeam Court in Norwich

Hanging branches at Whitebeam Court in Norwich - Credit: Paul Carter

And when Paul contacted this paper after reading about the new ‘We’ll Sort It’ campaign the council has now promised to take action. 

The campaign aims to help the people of Norwich by highlighting problems that need sorting.

Staff will be tidying up the area for non-urgent aesthetic reasons over the next couple of weeks — including replacing the existing paving slabs with tarmac — but found no trip hazards when they visited.

A spokesman said: "We recently assessed the court and found no accessibility issues for residents.

"If, despite this, anyone still feels unsafe using the paved area there is also a non-paved area allowing for full access to all properties."

But Mr Carter disputes this, claiming his mum has already fallen multiple times since May — when he first complained to the council — due to a lack of maintenance.

Madeleine Carter and her son Paul said issues at Whitebeam Court had been going on for months

Madeleine Carter and her son Paul said issues at Whitebeam Court had been going on for months - Credit: Paul Carter

Rubbish in the walkways at Whitebeam Court

Rubbish in the walkways at Whitebeam Court - Credit: Paul Carter

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Ms Carter said: "It feels like an obstacle course out there. I don't trust myself going outside anymore. It's too hazardous."

And it's not just a logistical issue.

With the communal benches taped-off since August, after the Evening News first alerted the council to the pensioner's safety concerns, there's currently nowhere for the 84-year-old to relax outdoors. 

Mr Carter said: "It's like she's trapped in her living room.

"Her social worker said she needs to get out more, but she refuses.

"It's a disgrace. You just can't get an answer from anyone at the council. The only time we seem to get any information is through the Evening News.

Madeleine Carter, 84

Madeleine Carter, 84, said she was scared to leave the house. This is her in May before she required a walker and could still use her sticks - Credit: Paul Carter

"If I was 20 years younger I'd have sorted this all out myself months ago."

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