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Northchurch pensioners asks: ‘why did security light repair take four months?’

The path across the stream with the offending light on the wall, right, at Shaftesbury Court, Northchurch

The path across the stream with the offending light on the wall, right, at Shaftesbury Court, Northchurch

A pensioner who had to wait four months for a security light to be fixed at his sheltered housing complex in Northchurch has spoken of his frustration.

Terry McGuire, 82, made repeated calls to Sanctuary Housing starting in October last year after the light – fixed to an outside wall – stopped working, but the problem was only fixed yesterday.

The light illuminates a path on the outskirts of the complex at Shaftesbury Court in Valley Road, which runs alongside a stream.

Terry – a former health and safety manager at Kent Brushes in Apsley – said: “I first reported it on October 28, then once every week up until Christmas and then twice a week since.

“It’s dangerous walking along that path at night, because it’s right next to the stream and there’s no safety rail. I can’t get out, but for those who can, it’s not good enough.

“One lady goes out with her Zimmer frame and she’s terrified she’s going to fall over.”

Local operations manager for Sanctuary Maintenance Julia Crook confirmed that contractors had finally been out to fix the light, but couldn’t say why it had taken so long.

She said: “We discovered a fault with the wiring running to the light outside of Mr McGuire’s home which took longer to track than we would have liked, and we apologise for the inconvenience.”

Terry, who has lived in Shaftesbury Court for eight years, said: “They gave me lots of excuses as to why they couldn’t come out, but I want to know why it took so long? It was only a little job.”

Mr McGuire said that for the weeks the light was out of action, those wanting to pop across the road to the shops had to walk the long way round, adding an extra half a mile to their journey – which, when they’re unsteady on their feet already, was too much for some.

Spokesperson for Age UK Dacorum Michelle Law said: “These people want to be independent and get out and about even though it’s dark, so it’s a real shame if they can’t.

“We run a handyperson scheme here, and if there are any small DIY jobs that need doing at a sheltered housing complex, then we may be able to help. Call 01442 259049 and ask for the handy team.”

 

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