It’s snow joke

PUBLISHED: 12:24 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:14 06 May 2010

RESIDENTS have been left out of the picture, claiming prisoners get better television provision than they do. Fuzzy pictures, crackling sound and inconsistent reception have left people living at Lime Tree House miserable. Christopher Stent moved to the a

RESIDENTS have been left out of the picture, claiming prisoners get better television provision than they do.

Fuzzy pictures, crackling sound and inconsistent reception have left people living at Lime Tree House miserable.

Christopher Stent moved to the assisted living complex in Whitwell nine months ago and has spoken up on behalf of the other residents.

"Everyone's absolutely frustrated," he said. "Sometimes we can get a picture, sometimes we can't and in the winter it's snow. We can't get Channel five and we can't get digital at all. Everyone here is in abject misery."

Lime Tree House is run by North Herts Homes and provides sheltered housing for people over 55.

Many of the residents are largely house-bound and rely on television for much of their entertainment.

Said Mr Stent: "There's an old aerial that's been up there for 27 years but it doesn't work, it's ineffective, and there's no cable in the village."

Lime Tree House is built in a poor reception area making Sky or cable the most welcomed choices for residents but North Herts Homes does not permit dishes.

"It's not rocket science we're talking about," said Mr Stent. "I rang an aerial company that specialises in communal aerials and a man came and did a survey.

"I've sent his survey to North Herts Homes in which he says he can fit a large dish to the roof and then supply all the flats with boxes for all those wanting Sky or Freeview channels.

"Everyone has the option then.

"There are 27 absolutely miserable people here and all North Herts Homes say is that they'll have an aerial built that we know won't work because Lime Tree House is stuck in a dip here.

"Even in prisons they have the most up-to-date televisions to watch, but here we are paying over £100 a week rent and getting this terrible service."

John Knox, performance and quality manager at North Herts Homes, said: "North Herts Homes has already started the work to upgrade communal aerials on blocks of flats within sheltered schemes, in preparation for the switch to digital, which we intend to do long before the analogue switch off in 2012.

"It is our current policy not to allow residents to install satellite dishes at sheltered schemes.

"This is because, under planning regulations, not all residents would be able to have their own dish and this would create unfairness.

"Once the aerials are upgraded this will not be a problem.

"With regard to Lime Tree House, Whitwell, it is untrue to say the residents have no television signal.

"They are able to receive terrestrial channels, but we accept that the picture quality is less than perfect and varies with atmospheric conditions.

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