Leeds Seacroft Gate residents' fury over breaking lifts

Michael and Sandra McNiff, with Michael's parents Wilf, 86, and Muriel, 85.
Michael and Sandra McNiff, with Michael's parents Wilf, 86, and Muriel, 85.

Concerns have been raised for residents of a Leeds high-rise tower block who are continually frustrated a lifts breaking in the building.

Sandra McNiff believes her parents-in-law and fellow elderly residents in block two at Leeds City Council-run Seacroft Gate have become “prisoners in their own home” because some cannot get up and down the stairs when the elevators are out of use.

Her father-in-law Wilf, 86, has been receiving respite care after suffering memory loss, but broken lifts at the site mean getting to floor five to see his wife Muriel, 85, who had a hip replacement five weeks ago, is proving difficult.

A notice placed in the block said that the lifts are expected to be replaced in October.

But Mrs McNiff said that there have been problems with them for years, and grew more frustrated last week when one of them broke again, which was later fixed but somebody later became stuck inside it.

Mrs McNiff said: “There have been problems with the lifts for too long to even think about it.

“It’s getting to be a saga and a farce.”

There is a passenger lift and a goods lift in the block – but sometimes the latter will not worth either, Mrs McNiff said.

She estimates that around 85 per cent of residents in the 10-floor block are elderly or disabled.“They can’t get out for food – they’re prisoners in their own home,” she said.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said: “We do appreciate it’s been difficult for residents having to cope with lift breakdowns and a full replacement has been ordered for both blocks one and two at Seacroft Gate. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and we’ve asked the contractor to start work as soon as possible to minimise any further inconvenience to residents and visitors.”