ELDERLY residents were stuck on the first floor of their housing complex for a week after a lift broke meaning they had no way of getting down.

The council had been unable to fix the problem at O’Donoghue House in Stanford-Le-Hope due to the necessary part being in Finland.

A stair-lift was fitted on yesterday, a week after the council had been alerted to the broken lift, meaning that eight residents, some in their mid-nineties were unable to access the ground floor due to mobility difficulties.

This meant council staff were having to do food shopping for elderly residents unable to get downstairs.

A spokesman for Thurrock Council said: “The replacement parts have had to be ordered from the manufacturers in Finland, unfortunately the council is not expecting delivery until tomorrow or Friday.

“The council is also looking at the possibility of manually operating the lift at designated times and a stair lift will be fitted on Tuesday morning as an interim measure.

“The particular part needed was not stocked anywhere in this country and the council is ordering extra spares to avoid this happening again.

“Tenants who cannot use the stairs are being visited and offered assistance with shopping and laundry, and asked if there was anything else they needed.”

But resident Rita Cargill, 79, said: “They’ve put a stair-lift in now, but why didn’t they put it in in the first place? All they’ve done is pass the buck.

“There are residents who can’t come down the stairs. I’m ok going down, but I can’t go back up, particularly with shopping.

“It just annoys me that we’ve got to wait so long for a part to be delivered.

“The residents are alright. We look out for eachother, but they do like to come down and keep fit, they were upset because they were stuck up there.”

Another resident, Peter Kiely said: “It’s terrible. There’s one resident who’s 90 and she’s really upset. They can’t get down to the communal areas or laundrette. The lift should be a priority.”