IT has been far from ‘lift off’ at the Civic Hall in Uppermill as the Parish Council is joining locals in voicing despair over the ongoing broken equipment.
The lift has been damaged by people transporting heavy goods upstairs, rather than just guests, and it has been unusable since last November.
Contractors Otis were called in to fix it but more than two months later Parish Council chair Cllr Rob Knotts has been left frustrated and angry by lack of response and solutions.
He explained: “We reported a fault to contractor Otis but they have been an absolute disaster.
“At first, they diagnosed a mechanical fault and said they could fix it but nothing happened. “We phoned and emailed a number of times but still nothing happened. We have done everything we could to contact them over the last three weeks.
“Eventually they came back and said it was an electrical fault instead. They came in recently to take a look and now they are telling me we have another mechanical fault.
“We have spent about £6,000 last year on repairs, and just allocated another £2,000 – and we’ve got nothing for that so far.
“I asked them time and time again to get it fixed for the Civic Ball in January but they failed to do so.
“I am writing to their chief executive to tell him what a shambles this is. We will certainly be looking for a replacement when this contract comes to an end.
“We have tried our damnedest to get this sorted but we are at the hands of Otis who have been very disappointing.
“We have had a formal complaint recently about the lift not working. It is important for our users of the building and we need to get it fixed.”
Other councillors added their concerns when the matter was raised at their Council meeting in January.
Cllr Graham Sheldon said: “The saga of the lift is dreadful and the service we have had even more so. We will be looking at who else can service it in future instead.”
Cllr Mavis Bingley, who walks with the aid of walking sticks, has raised the issue numerous times and is disappointed the problem is still ongoing.
“This has been going on for the last few months and it’s a disaster,” she said.
“I came to a brass band concert in January and the lift wasn’t working so I had to struggle up the stairs.
“But some people couldn’t manage the stairs and had to go outside into the rain and the dark and go around the back to the entrance with disabled access.
“That’s not ideal. If we’re paying all that money, we need to get the service and get it fixed.”
The lift has been fitted with locks so only a staff member can open it to allow guests to use it in future under their supervision.
A spokesperson for Otis said: “The repair of this particular lift has required specialist parts which have taken longer than expected to source.
“Our experienced lift engineers are working hard with the council to restore the lift to service as soon as possible.
“We recognise the inconvenience to residents in the meantime.”