Published: 09:00, 18 September 2014
A full-time Northfleet mum says she and her three children will be trapped in their sixth-floor flat for seven weeks due to lift repairs.
Leanne Wiltshire, 22, has been left in tears after Gravesham council refused to provide her with temporary accommodation or an extra pair of hands to help get her young children down 12 flights.
Her family live in The Hive – a seven-floor tower block with a single lift. The children – Max, three, Lily, two and Logan, six months – attend nursery during the week.
Without a lift, Mrs Wiltshire will be forced to get her toddlers down a narrow stairway which she says will be impossible to manage.
The council has agreed to provide staff to help residents at around 9am and 3pm for the school-run, but this is of no help to Mrs Wiltshire who takes her children to nursery at midday.
The lift has had problems for some time, particularly with youths breaking in and trashing it, according to Mrs Wiltshire.
Mrs Wiltshire, whose husband Aaron is away during the day, said: "I just think it's wrong that they are penalising mums. How am I meant to get out with three children on my own?
"I'm going to have to pull my kids out of nursery because I have no way of getting them there."
According to Mrs Wiltshire, the council is only offering temporary accommodation to those with certain medical conditions. She says this is unfair on the many mums who live there.
A council spokesman said: "One of the council's Tenant Participation officers spoke to Ms Wiltshire shortly after the residents were informed of the essential lift maintenance at The Hive, Northfleet.
"After discussion with the residents, including Ms Wiltshire, arrangements have been made that a caretaker will be available between 9.00 – 9.30am, noon - 12.30pm and 3.00- 3.30pm.
"Residents have been provided with a contact number for the caretaker who will be on hand to assist residents as necessary."
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