Cash-strapped council slammed after spending £100,000 on town hall lifts

Cash-strapped council slammed after spending more than £100,000 on town hall lifts

Cash-strapped council slammed after spending more than £100,000 on town hall lifts

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

WIRRAL Council’s spending habits have been slammed yet again after it was revealed they spent more than £100,000 on installing a new lift and refurbishing another at Wallasey town hall.

The authority says it has spent around £70,000 on a new lift which is needed to ensure at least one of them is always in service.

A further £56,000 was spent refurbishing the existing elevator, which was installed in 1932 and was deemed to be “not suitable for people with disabilities and young children” due to old fashioned gate mechanism, which had also made the lift “costly to repair”.

The fresh criticism comes just months after Wirral Council came under fire for spending £17,600 on upgrading members’ toilets and £25,000 to replace the carpets on the town hall stairs – which council bosses said were needed due to its popularity as a wedding venue.

The council was also criticised last year after spending £850,000 on a “Downton-Abbey” staircase.

David Armstrong, head of universal and infrastructure services for the authority, defending the latest spending, saying it would increase the number of weddings held at the town hall – which dropped last year “due to major construction work and the lift being out of order for long periods”.

But Wallasey councillor Leah Fraser told the Globe the lift will not be used for brides.

She said: “The new £70,000 lift is located next to the ‘Downton-Abbey’ staircase which cost £850,000 and is only for staff use. 

“But apparently the ‘new’ refurbished lift now meets the criteria for the Disability Discrimination Act, are they seriously implying that the old lift didn’t meet these requirements? And if not, why not?  

“It raises a number of questions not least, were the council in breach of Health and Safety Regulations and how have members of staff who have a disability managed until now?’

“There are serious questions to answer, however, I’m sure we’ll get the usual excuses. 

“I’m appalled that this Labour administration is allowing this expenditure at a time when they’re looking to reduce staff numbers by 500 with possible compulsorily redundancies.”

Mr Armstrong said: “Weddings at Wallasey Town Hall currently generate thousands of pounds in income each year.

“As expected, there was a slight decrease in the number of weddings held at Wallasey town hall last year due to major construction work and the lift being out of order for long periods, which made access to the first floor difficult for some people.”

Mr Armstrong that have been more than 50 weddings held at the town hall so far this year and is “confident that we will see an increase in bookings once building improvements have finished”.

He continued: “The old lift at Wallasey town hall was installed in 1932 and over recent years has become very unreliable and costly to repair.

“It had become a health and safety concern with major components starting to fail and was regularly out of service, meaning there were numerous occasions when individuals couldn’t access their office and members of the public couldn’t get to the first floor, which is unfair and unacceptable.

He added: “Having two lifts means one should always be in service.

“The original lift has been refurbished to replace the old fashioned gate mechanism, which was not suitable for people with disabilities or young people. The lift control mechanisms have been replaced and it has been completely rewired.

“The refurbished lift complies with the Disability Discrimination Act and will mainly serve the public and allow the movement of goods throughout the building.”

 

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:50pm Mon 4 Aug 14

WirralAl says...

The never ending cash cow spends what it wants and culls what it wants to get rid of.

The Town hall appears to get plenty of money spent in it and apparently most to blamed on Weddings.

Perhaps they could provide us voters with a list of what this home of the clowns needs to bring into into this century and then ask us voters what we think but as always our opinion would be ignored.
The never ending cash cow spends what it wants and culls what it wants to get rid of. The Town hall appears to get plenty of money spent in it and apparently most to blamed on Weddings. Perhaps they could provide us voters with a list of what this home of the clowns needs to bring into into this century and then ask us voters what we think but as always our opinion would be ignored. WirralAl
  • Score: 4

1:09pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Growl Tiger says...

Mr Armstrong is quoted as saying: “Weddings at Wallasey Town Hall currently generate thousands of pounds in income each year.”

Interesting that as in answer to a Freedom of Information request on 20 June which asked “Please let me know how much income has been generated by the Council in each of the past five financial years for the use of the Town Hall as a wedding venue.” The Council’s response was:

“The Council is unable to separate out information held on income
generated on weddings for Wallasey Town Hall as we do not record
information broken down in this way. In order to identify this
information and to provide you with a full response would require a
manual operation and we estimate this would take over the appropriate
time limit of 18.5 hours allowed by the legislation. Your request is
therefore refused and we have relied on the exemption contained within
Section 12 (1) of the legislation.

So Mr Armstrong’s statement is another typical Council fictional proclamation not based on fact. Or, if it is based on fact why won’t the Council release it on the What do they know web site.
Mr Armstrong is quoted as saying: “Weddings at Wallasey Town Hall currently generate thousands of pounds in income each year.” Interesting that as in answer to a Freedom of Information request on 20 June which asked “Please let me know how much income has been generated by the Council in each of the past five financial years for the use of the Town Hall as a wedding venue.” The Council’s response was: “The Council is unable to separate out information held on income generated on weddings for Wallasey Town Hall as we do not record information broken down in this way. In order to identify this information and to provide you with a full response would require a manual operation and we estimate this would take over the appropriate time limit of 18.5 hours allowed by the legislation. Your request is therefore refused and we have relied on the exemption contained within Section 12 (1) of the legislation. So Mr Armstrong’s statement is another typical Council fictional proclamation not based on fact. Or, if it is based on fact why won’t the Council release it on the What do they know web site. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 21

1:15pm Mon 4 Aug 14

PaulCa says...

My biggest regret ever...

Getting married...

At Wallasey Town Hall.
My biggest regret ever... Getting married... At Wallasey Town Hall. PaulCa
  • Score: 10

1:42pm Mon 4 Aug 14

ballacrain says...

"there were numerous occasions when individuals couldn’t access their office and members of the public couldn’t get to the first floor, which is unfair and unacceptable."

Does the Town Hall not have stairs, which in the event of an emergency would have to be used by all and not the lifts.
"there were numerous occasions when individuals couldn’t access their office and members of the public couldn’t get to the first floor, which is unfair and unacceptable." Does the Town Hall not have stairs, which in the event of an emergency would have to be used by all and not the lifts. ballacrain
  • Score: 9

2:32pm Mon 4 Aug 14

johnhardaker says...

Growl Tiger wrote:
Mr Armstrong is quoted as saying: “Weddings at Wallasey Town Hall currently generate thousands of pounds in income each year.”

Interesting that as in answer to a Freedom of Information request on 20 June which asked “Please let me know how much income has been generated by the Council in each of the past five financial years for the use of the Town Hall as a wedding venue.” The Council’s response was:

“The Council is unable to separate out information held on income
generated on weddings for Wallasey Town Hall as we do not record
information broken down in this way. In order to identify this
information and to provide you with a full response would require a
manual operation and we estimate this would take over the appropriate
time limit of 18.5 hours allowed by the legislation. Your request is
therefore refused and we have relied on the exemption contained within
Section 12 (1) of the legislation.

So Mr Armstrong’s statement is another typical Council fictional proclamation not based on fact. Or, if it is based on fact why won’t the Council release it on the What do they know web site.
Clown hall yet again score an own goal with another£100k of our money on refurbishing the Clown hall lifts at ratepayers expense
Presumably there is a register of births Marriages &deaths kept by the registrar & it would be simple to look at the register & the dates of the weddings & cross check with the accounting period knowing how much a wedding costs & publish the figures in full.
my feeling is that the official could not be A***D & made the lame excuse that it would take 18.5 hours to find the information instead they fob the questioner.
Most people know my low opinion of Wirral council & this is borne out by their response & their profligate waste of money what with the Lifts, the refurbished toilets the new office furniture, the£17k plus for the councillors & officers to attend the open £! million plus to pay out disgraced officers & now my finger is sore & I cant be bothered listing all the other scandals.
The town hall staff should remember they are "Public servant" not squanderers of rate payers monies.
[quote][p][bold]Growl Tiger[/bold] wrote: Mr Armstrong is quoted as saying: “Weddings at Wallasey Town Hall currently generate thousands of pounds in income each year.” Interesting that as in answer to a Freedom of Information request on 20 June which asked “Please let me know how much income has been generated by the Council in each of the past five financial years for the use of the Town Hall as a wedding venue.” The Council’s response was: “The Council is unable to separate out information held on income generated on weddings for Wallasey Town Hall as we do not record information broken down in this way. In order to identify this information and to provide you with a full response would require a manual operation and we estimate this would take over the appropriate time limit of 18.5 hours allowed by the legislation. Your request is therefore refused and we have relied on the exemption contained within Section 12 (1) of the legislation. So Mr Armstrong’s statement is another typical Council fictional proclamation not based on fact. Or, if it is based on fact why won’t the Council release it on the What do they know web site.[/p][/quote]Clown hall yet again score an own goal with another£100k of our money on refurbishing the Clown hall lifts at ratepayers expense Presumably there is a register of births Marriages &deaths kept by the registrar & it would be simple to look at the register & the dates of the weddings & cross check with the accounting period knowing how much a wedding costs & publish the figures in full. my feeling is that the official could not be A***D & made the lame excuse that it would take 18.5 hours to find the information instead they fob the questioner. Most people know my low opinion of Wirral council & this is borne out by their response & their profligate waste of money what with the Lifts, the refurbished toilets the new office furniture, the£17k plus for the councillors & officers to attend the open £! million plus to pay out disgraced officers & now my finger is sore & I cant be bothered listing all the other scandals. The town hall staff should remember they are "Public servant" not squanderers of rate payers monies. johnhardaker
  • Score: 12

2:38pm Mon 4 Aug 14

johnhardaker says...

johnhardaker wrote:
Growl Tiger wrote:
Mr Armstrong is quoted as saying: “Weddings at Wallasey Town Hall currently generate thousands of pounds in income each year.”

Interesting that as in answer to a Freedom of Information request on 20 June which asked “Please let me know how much income has been generated by the Council in each of the past five financial years for the use of the Town Hall as a wedding venue.” The Council’s response was:

“The Council is unable to separate out information held on income
generated on weddings for Wallasey Town Hall as we do not record
information broken down in this way. In order to identify this
information and to provide you with a full response would require a
manual operation and we estimate this would take over the appropriate
time limit of 18.5 hours allowed by the legislation. Your request is
therefore refused and we have relied on the exemption contained within
Section 12 (1) of the legislation.

So Mr Armstrong’s statement is another typical Council fictional proclamation not based on fact. Or, if it is based on fact why won’t the Council release it on the What do they know web site.
Clown hall yet again score an own goal with another£100k of our money on refurbishing the Clown hall lifts at ratepayers expense
Presumably there is a register of births Marriages &deaths kept by the registrar & it would be simple to look at the register & the dates of the weddings & cross check with the accounting period knowing how much a wedding costs & publish the figures in full.
my feeling is that the official could not be A***D & made the lame excuse that it would take 18.5 hours to find the information instead they fob the questioner.
Most people know my low opinion of Wirral council & this is borne out by their response & their profligate waste of money what with the Lifts, the refurbished toilets the new office furniture, the£17k plus for the councillors & officers to attend the open £! million plus to pay out disgraced officers & now my finger is sore & I cant be bothered listing all the other scandals.
The town hall staff should remember they are "Public servant" not squanderers of rate payers monies.
P.S forgot about the £850k staircase & the £25k carpet THE AKA DASS report £400.k sorry guys my finger just recovered & others to numerous to mention
[quote][p][bold]johnhardaker[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Growl Tiger[/bold] wrote: Mr Armstrong is quoted as saying: “Weddings at Wallasey Town Hall currently generate thousands of pounds in income each year.” Interesting that as in answer to a Freedom of Information request on 20 June which asked “Please let me know how much income has been generated by the Council in each of the past five financial years for the use of the Town Hall as a wedding venue.” The Council’s response was: “The Council is unable to separate out information held on income generated on weddings for Wallasey Town Hall as we do not record information broken down in this way. In order to identify this information and to provide you with a full response would require a manual operation and we estimate this would take over the appropriate time limit of 18.5 hours allowed by the legislation. Your request is therefore refused and we have relied on the exemption contained within Section 12 (1) of the legislation. So Mr Armstrong’s statement is another typical Council fictional proclamation not based on fact. Or, if it is based on fact why won’t the Council release it on the What do they know web site.[/p][/quote]Clown hall yet again score an own goal with another£100k of our money on refurbishing the Clown hall lifts at ratepayers expense Presumably there is a register of births Marriages &deaths kept by the registrar & it would be simple to look at the register & the dates of the weddings & cross check with the accounting period knowing how much a wedding costs & publish the figures in full. my feeling is that the official could not be A***D & made the lame excuse that it would take 18.5 hours to find the information instead they fob the questioner. Most people know my low opinion of Wirral council & this is borne out by their response & their profligate waste of money what with the Lifts, the refurbished toilets the new office furniture, the£17k plus for the councillors & officers to attend the open £! million plus to pay out disgraced officers & now my finger is sore & I cant be bothered listing all the other scandals. The town hall staff should remember they are "Public servant" not squanderers of rate payers monies.[/p][/quote]P.S forgot about the £850k staircase & the £25k carpet THE AKA DASS report £400.k sorry guys my finger just recovered & others to numerous to mention johnhardaker
  • Score: 9

3:30pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Dave J1608 says...

Wirral Clouncil - is anyone really surprised? I'd like to take a close look on who actually gets these contracts and if there is a transparent tender scheme in operation.
Wirral Clouncil - is anyone really surprised? I'd like to take a close look on who actually gets these contracts and if there is a transparent tender scheme in operation. Dave J1608
  • Score: 4

9:13pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Growl Tiger says...

The Town Hall is a Civic Ceremony site. Cannot believe it makes thousands of pounds each year as a chosen wedding venue. If so it would be so easy to prove.

So that blows a huge hole in the excuse the Council keeps making that updating the Town Hall is necessary because it adds to the wedding income. The expenditure on staircases to heaven, new toilets, CEO’s suite, new lifts, carpets, showcasing the Wirral at The Open are all just yet more lies. and have nothing to do with weddings income at Brighton Street.

I suspect very little income is made from it being a wedding venue and that’s why WBC won’t answer the Freedom of Information request on 20 June 2914 on the Wirral What Do They Know web site.
The Town Hall is a Civic Ceremony site. Cannot believe it makes thousands of pounds each year as a chosen wedding venue. If so it would be so easy to prove. So that blows a huge hole in the excuse the Council keeps making that updating the Town Hall is necessary because it adds to the wedding income. The expenditure on staircases to heaven, new toilets, CEO’s suite, new lifts, carpets, showcasing the Wirral at The Open are all just yet more lies. and have nothing to do with weddings income at Brighton Street. I suspect very little income is made from it being a wedding venue and that’s why WBC won’t answer the Freedom of Information request on 20 June 2914 on the Wirral What Do They Know web site. Growl Tiger
  • Score: 5

10:14pm Mon 4 Aug 14

spamfiend says...

Well Mr Armstrong, just a wee bit of information for you - the DDA has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010, except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies, so you cannot use that old chestnut any more....
Well Mr Armstrong, just a wee bit of information for you - the DDA has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010, except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies, so you cannot use that old chestnut any more.... spamfiend
  • Score: 2

9:07am Tue 5 Aug 14

hobroW says...

Its the greatest imposture since Genghis Khan, he shouted,"Who's responsible for producing all this rubbish?

The scene that accompanied this outburst is exactly where we end up when equivocations are permitted to continue.

I leave you to discover which personage said it and where
Its the greatest imposture since Genghis Khan, he shouted,"Who's responsible for producing all this rubbish? The scene that accompanied this outburst is exactly where we end up when equivocations are permitted to continue. I leave you to discover which personage said it and where hobroW
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Joeblogg85 says...

spamfiend wrote:
Well Mr Armstrong, just a wee bit of information for you - the DDA has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010, except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies, so you cannot use that old chestnut any more....
How come this senior officer hasn't been on the councils much heralded equality training? He's still quoting law that went out of date four years ago. Get with the programme man. This is from the most improved council in the WORLD bar none! Another PR faux pas. It's the emperors new clothes indeed!
[quote][p][bold]spamfiend[/bold] wrote: Well Mr Armstrong, just a wee bit of information for you - the DDA has now been repealed and replaced by the Equality Act 2010, except in Northern Ireland where the Act still applies, so you cannot use that old chestnut any more....[/p][/quote]How come this senior officer hasn't been on the councils much heralded equality training? He's still quoting law that went out of date four years ago. Get with the programme man. This is from the most improved council in the WORLD bar none! Another PR faux pas. It's the emperors new clothes indeed! Joeblogg85
  • Score: 3

7:17pm Tue 5 Aug 14

MX says...

No sympathy for poor Mr.Armstrong for having to front this - badly informed and well paid.
No sympathy for poor Mr.Armstrong for having to front this - badly informed and well paid. MX
  • Score: 3

10:02am Wed 6 Aug 14

Positive thinker says...

Was the monies spent to keep in line with current regulation?
Was the monies spent to keep in line with current regulation? Positive thinker
  • Score: 0

10:27pm Wed 6 Aug 14

hobroW says...

The Emperor's new clothes indded with the whole court cavorting in the same- stark, boll*** naked
The Emperor's new clothes indded with the whole court cavorting in the same- stark, boll*** naked hobroW
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree