Replacement lift for Dorchester Corn Exchange could cost £25,000

Replacement lift for Dorchester Corn Exchange could cost £25,000

Published by George Sharpe at 1:12pm 10th March 2020.

An unreliable lift in Dorchester’s Corn Exchange building is to be replaced.

Dorchester Town Council is asking for listed building consent to remove the old lift and replace it with one of similar size.

The lift, now more than 10 years old, has caused problems in the past when a woman in a wheelchair and her mother became stuck in it, were unable to raise help on an emergency number and had to call the fire brigade to be extracted.

Corn Exchange Lift Dorchester

Since then the lift has rarely been used with the council changing some of its meetings so they could be held on the ground floor in the event of someone with disabilities wishing to attend.

The cost of the new lift is put at around £25,000.

Gillingham resident Sylvia Hixson Andrews criticised Dorchester Town Council after being stuck in the lift saying it was wrong to hold its public meetings in the upstairs council chamber which was difficult to access for those with reduced mobility.

Corn Exchange Dorchester

“If you can’t get people to your meetings, you should change where you meet,” she said at the time. Dorchester Town Council responded by doing just that, changing its schedule of meetings.

She and daughter Chloe, who uses a wheelchair, had travelled to the meeting to explain how they had become stuck in the lift – the council’s embarrassment compounded by the fact that the lift was out of action when they arrived to address the meeting and Chloe had to remain on the ground floor, unable to attend, although a couple of councillors went downstairs from the council chamber to listen to her views.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter

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