Residents’ anger - 11 days with no phones

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AROUND 30 village homes have been without a phone service for 11 days, despite no prior notice of work BT planned to undertake.

Last Monday residents in Friars Way, St Thomas Way and Raynsford Way, in Great Whelnetham, lost telephone and internet connection and, yesterday, things had still not improved.

One resident, Gill Wallace has ongoing health problems and was so concerned about having no means of communication that this week she bought a mobile phone, only to discover it had no reception at her home.

The 70-year-old, who was also diagnosed with shingles last week, said: “I’m scared if I can’t use my phone. I have one by the side of my bed so that when I feel poorly I can call my daughter but if she doesn’t know, she can’t come.”

“Normally I can go to my neighbour and say ‘help’ but not in the middle of the night and not if they don’t have phones either,” she added.

Sharon Whiting’s son, who is in his final year of school, has been missing the school bus home and staying after class to use the school’s computers, requiring lifts from his parents instead.

A BT spokesman said: “Following an initial fault on the cable serving these properties, a temporary solution was installed to ensure that residents could receive service.

“It has taken longer than we would have preferred to install a more permanent replacement, but work has now commenced to ensure that a long-term fix is in place.”

Terry Howes said the ‘initial fault’ occurred three years ago.

Concerned for his elderly neighbours, he said: “If it had been a cable theft you could understand it, but BT were responsible for this and chose not to tell anybody.”

BT expects the phone service to resume today.