Plans approved to repair broken lifts in Wigan high-rise flats

Derby House in Scholes
Derby House in Scholes

Plans to replace faulty lifts in Wigan high-rise flats which are “damaging the council’s reputation” have been given the green-light.

Residents living in Scholes flats have been plagued with broken lifts for the past few years, with several disabled tenants being “marooned” in their homes when the machines have broken down.

But now Wigan Council has opted to “fully replace” all 14 lifts to try and put an end to their inconvenience.

The work, which will include “breaking through” landing areas, will ensure that each lift stops on every floor.

The current arrangement in the 13-storey flats sees residents with two lifts, one that stops on even floors and one that stops on odd floors.

Town hall officials have, however, decided that the revamp will improve waiting times and overall service for residents.

In a document supporting the decision, the council said: “Lift failures are causing reputational damage for the council, disruption and inconvenience for residents, limiting access to their homes in some instances and resource issues for the Tenancy Services Team due to the need for welfare visits.”

Out of five possible options, which were to “do nothing” and continue to repair faults, partially refurbish the lifts, fully refurbish the lifts, fully replace the lifts or fully replace the lifts by breaking through onto each floor, the latter was chosen as the best possible option for residents.

“Lifts that will call on each floor reduce issues for tenants with mobility problems when lift failures occur.

“This is also a recommendation by the fire service.

“This option will enable the lifts to be duplexed so that the nearest lift can be called, resulting in reduced waiting time and improved service for residents, reduced travel of each lift resulting in reduced wear of components and energy efficiencies for the landlord.”

Vivien Morris, who lives with and cares for her disabled partner John Walker on the seventh-floor of Derby House, was up in arms last year after he was trapped in the building over Christmas Day due to a lift malfunction.

At the time, she called the service “diabolical” saying that the problem had been ongoing for years.

Vivien said: “I have lived here for 21 years. We never used to have a problem, then they started putting tenders out to contractors for the cheapest services.

“You could have someone repairing them once a year if that person was doing a good enough job. But instead they turn up for two minutes and then they break again.

“I think it’s a ridiculous idea to put them on every floor and I just don’t see how it’s going to reduce the waiting time.

“It’s bad enough the lift that stops on every other floor.”

It is not yet known when the work will begin.