‘We’re sorry’ - Contractor apology after Morgan Court lift delays leave residents trapped

PUBLISHED: 14:20 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:20 11 August 2017

Morgan Court

Morgan Court


Schindler Ltd, the contractor responsible for installation of a new lift at Morgan Court, Exmouth, has apologised after months of delays left residents stranded.

A lift firm blamed for leaving pensioners and the disabled trapped in their Exmouth flats for months has apologised for the distress its ‘technical’ failures have caused.

Schindler UK’s website boasts ‘we believe that excellence in safety, quality and customer service is key to our long-term success. We provide safe and reliable lift, escalator and related products whilst putting the customer at the heart of everything we do’.

However, scores of frail and vulnerable Morgan Court OAPs were put ‘at risk’, trapped at home for three months by the firm’s lift replacement delays. The Journal reported last week how the new lift then broke down.

Those unable to use the stairs feared death through being stuck in their flats if a fire broke out.

Schindler UK said it was ‘very sorry’ for leaving residents without a lift at the sheltered housing complex, blaming ‘technical issues’.

The company said it would ‘apologise in person’ to those affected.

It said a technical team has inspected the lift and a specialist will remain onsite for the foreseeable future. A spokesperson for the company said: “We are very sorry for the recent inconvenience and distress caused to the residents of Morgan Court during the main passenger lift-replacement works. We experienced a number of delays during the installation of the main passenger lift, the most significant being a result of a building issue within the lift shaft.

“This meant we had to suspend work while we agreed a solution with [building owner] East Devon District Council (EDDC).

“When we put the lift into service in mid-July there was a further technical issue that required us to order a replacement part on an extended lead time. This led to the lift being out of service longer than we would have expected. We will be contacting the residents directly to tell them about the actions we are taking, and we will apologise to them in person.”

Residents were told in April repairs would take six weeks; some three months later, in July, the work finished. A temporary stairlift was removed by the firm before the repairs finished.

Morgan Court tenants were dealt more ‘cruelty’ when the newly-repaired lift broke down and forced them back indoors for a further fortnight.

The Schindler UK spokesperson added: “We knew the stairlift was inconvenient for those residents who didn’t need to use it, but we should have insisted that it remained in place for those two further days.”

EDDC said it was looking into taking action against Schindler UK for its ‘unsatisfactory’ lift installation and ‘poor project management’. The council said the firm’s lack of action was ‘unacceptable’.

Morgan Court tenants branded the problems as ‘cruelty’.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 12:00

Catch our weekly round-up of readers’ pictures.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:47

A 71-year-old was rescued by the coastguard after he suffered hip and leg injuries near Orcombe Point.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:30

Pupils from Marpool Primary School took part in a regional rock-climbing contest

Read more
Saturday, December 9, 2017

East Devon District Council has rubber-stamped changes to already-granted planning permission for a new house on land in Boucher Lane.

Read more
Saturday, December 9, 2017

A local history project in Woodbury, which hopes to make it easier to access historical materials from the past 200 years, has received financial support thanks to members of Devon County Council.

Read more
Saturday, December 9, 2017

A man is being supported by mental health professionals after spending hours on a bridge over the M5, leading huge delays in Devon last night (Friday).

Read more
Saturday, December 9, 2017

A panto held in Budleigh Salterton has raised £3,000 for a project to build a new library at St Peter’s Primary School.

Read more
Friday, December 8, 2017

From the War Journals: Making the news in the Exmouth Journal on this week in 1944.

Read more
Friday, December 8, 2017

A Devon charity is appealing for help to give people with terminal illnesses the best possible Christmas.

Read more
Friday, December 8, 2017

Afternoon drinking session led to a series of ‘vicious’ street fights in Littleham, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Read more

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: -0°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the Paper
Submit a Story
Subscriptions Order
Photo Orders
Family notices
Google Plus
Reader Travel

Read Online

Read the Exmouth Journal e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Exmouth's trusted business finder

Show Job Lists

Find planning applications