Sunday, October 30, 2005

 

Lift Off Again!



Tuesday the 25th of October

Our lift is off again. The single event that casued the most anger and catalysed us to start the tenants association off was that the right hand lift in block 65 (the lifts go to every alternate three floors, the one 2, 8, 14 etc. the other 5, 11 etc.) was off for four and a half months leaving the elderly people in the lfats housebound, and making life more difficult for people with babies.

Since the lift was ultimately 'fixed' it has broken down or otherwise malfunctioned almost a dozen times. On the 25th of this month it did so again, leaving a young man trapped in the lift for over half an hour, until he was freed by the fire brigade. Naturally we have received no information on why this lift, which we all use on a daily basis in block 65, continues to break down. Why has it taking so long to fix these problems?

Various lift engineers and those with experiences of dealing with lifts have told us categorically that these problems are inevitable, due to the lift's extreme age (22 years), and from the scraps of information we have received from the GHA we now know that replacement parts which will be increasingly necessary as the lift breaks down more and more are hard to find because the GHA has made no attempt to store spares (an error justified on cost efficiency that leads to tenant misery which is grossly negligent and makes a mockery of GHA's claim to being a 'scoail landlord'). What is necessary is for the whole lift to be replaced with a modern one. This would undoubtedly be quite expensive, but they have 150 million in the bank which they're not spending, particularly in areas that are 'up for review' (ie that they may decide to demolish in five or ten years time), and the figures we're talking here are in the thousands.

What makes the most recent galling example of the lift breaking down so much the worse is the fact that tenants had been complaining constantly of the lift making loud, frightening noises during motion. This had resulted in lift engineers being called on two occassions. These engineers then left having found that the lift was still running. It was not repaired and nobody in the GHA bothered to explain what the actual complaint was, so they failed to identify that the lift was making terrifying metalic snarls.

Two weeks after the lift broke down with this young man in it. This is just another example of the chronic neglect that the Cedar area community has to put up with on a daily basis. Those who sit in these offices and make these decisions for us are never the people who have to put up with them afterwards. It may save GHA money, and be 'prudent' not to stock spare lift parts but for the people who are affected by these decisions it is a slap in the face, and for some (the longest standing tenants, some who will have been residents since the flats were first built) it is a virtual prison sentence. It's not on and it has to change.

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