RESIDENTS were left stranded after the only lift in a Winchester tower block stopped working.

Tenants at Craddock House in Winnall were told that new parts were ordered, but it could be out of order for up to a week.

Residents said it was the third time within a year that the lift had broken in the seven-storey building.

Angela Louth, who lives on the top floor, said: “I’ve heard that the lifts in the other blocks next to us break down about once a year, but ours is definitely the worst.

“Last time it took a week to fix it and it looks like it’ll be the same again this time. Nothing seems to be done about it.”

She added that it was hard to visit the shops to buy food if she wanted to take her daughters Kirsty, five, and Jodie, 15 months.

Instead of taking them, and Jodie’s pushchair, down seven storeys of stairs, she has to wait for her husband, Nigel, to come home from work to look after them.

He is a supervisor at a building firm, and the family-of-four has been waiting for a council house to replace their two-bedroom flat since 2005.

Mrs Louth said: “We pay our rents and our council tax and we seem to get nothing back.”

She added that one of her neighbours who had suffered a stroke was unable to leave Craddock House until the lift was fixed.

It could also be out of action for more than a month if the council decides to replace the ageing lift with a new one, she said.

And when it does work, the lift often smells of cigarette smoke, she added.

A Winchester City Council spokeswoman said the lift has now been fixed after the missing part arrived.

She added that it was difficult to find because the lift was old, and the authority wanted to replace it with a modern one.

However, the council had not taken any bids on the work yet, so it was unclear how long the lift replacement scheme might take.