Broken council-maintained lift to Northampton library cuts off access for 'customers who need it the most', says former MP

A lift to the library at the top of Weston Favell Shopping Centre has been broken for weeks.
A lift to the library at the top of Weston Favell Shopping Centre has been broken for weeks.

A council-maintained lift in a Northampton shopping centre that has been broken for weeks is leaving elderly and disabled customers "cut off" from their local library service, a former MP has claimed.

The lift to the library on the top floor in Weston Favell Shopping Centre broke down in December 2018 and is yet to be repaired.

Former MP Sally Keeble says the broken lift cuts off access for 'the people who need the library the most'.

Former MP Sally Keeble says the broken lift cuts off access for 'the people who need the library the most'.

Responsibility for maintaining the lift to the library falls to Northamptonshire County Council rather than the centre itself.

But a former MP for Northampton North, Sally Keeble, says this has left the customers "who need the library the most" stranded.

Elderly and disabled customers who need to renew their bus passes have to do so at the library - which they can now only reach by struggling to the top of a staircase.

It has also left mothers and families with children and buggies with no choice but to climb the stairs.

Former MP Sally Keeble said: "It is often the case that the customers who need the library the most - such as the elderly, disabled or families - also need the lift the most too.

"I think it's appalling that after such a huge battle to keep the libraries open they have made it so hard for anyone to use it."

There are lifts to the other floors in the centre, but only the broken lift leads directly to the library.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “There has been a problem with the lift at Weston Favell for several weeks now with the mechanism in and out of action on a few occasions.

“The cause is believed to be an intermittent fault and we are working with our third-party contractor to work towards a long-term solution.”