ELDERLY and disabled tenants claim they have been left stuck in their flats after they were banned from charging their mobility scooters in public areas.
Residents at some Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) complexes are no longer allowed to store their electric scooters in corridors and public areas.
The policy has been brought in for health and safety reasons.
But it has left many frail, elderly residents unable to charge their scooters, confining them to their rooms.
One resident of Emley’s Savile Close sheltered block, said she had forked out more than £600 for her scooter but had never been able to use it.
The woman, who did not want to be named, said: “I live in a bedsit and I asked if I could charge it round the corner and they said no.
“I was surprised, I thought overnight it would be all right – there’s quite a few others in the same predicament.
“I’ve had it for a year and I haven’t been able to use it.
“It’s been stored in a cubby hole all that time. I feel as if I’ve thrown £600 down the road.”
The elderly resident, who is in her 80s, said the ban was preventing her from enjoying the outdoors.
She added: “I do get out with friends once a week, and on Sunday to chapel, but I’ve got osteoarthritis in both knees and hips so I can’t walk to the shop when I want to.
“I’d just like to be able to ride around for a bit and get some fresh air.”
Martin Fletcher, who lives in the same sheltered block with his disabled partner Margaret, accused KNH of bringing in unnecessary health and safety rules.
He said: “Before they tell people they can’t charge their scooters they should come up with a solution.
“Some people are now walking on crutches because they can’t use them.
“They’re making these people prisoners in their own homes, they shouldn’t have brought this in until they had come up with an alternative way of charging them.
“If people have to keep them outside then they need to have an outside space which is covered and locked where they can put them and charge them up.
“Most people here are 75 and older and the only way they get out is by the good grace of their friends and relatives.
“I know it’s not a care home, it’s sheltered accommodation, but they’re supposed to help people not hinder them, they’re supposed to have some freedom.”
A spokeswoman for Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, said: “As part of KNH’s ongoing responsibility for managing fire risks in communal areas, we have recently introduced a policy regarding charging and storing mobility scooters in communal areas of blocks of flats and retirement living schemes.
“We have not banned mobility scooters from being stored indoors.
“Rather we ask that they are stored inside flats, if there is room.
“If not, we ask that people contact us so that we can look at where they can be stored safely so that they don’t block emergency evacuation routes.
“We do this on an individual basis.
“Savile Close has been identified as a priority for outside storage facilities, and we are currently looking at what we can provide there.
“In the meantime, we are asking tenants not to charge them in the communal areas and to make sure they do not block any corridors or entrances.”