Compensation award after disabled child left 'frightened' by frequent lift breakdowns

The North Somerset child was left frightened by frequent breakdowns of the lift

The North Somerset child was left frightened by frequent breakdowns of the lift - Credit: Local Democracy Reporting Service

The family of a disabled child left terrified of a £10,000 lift installed to help him get around his North Somerset home after it kept breaking down has been awarded compensation.

North Somerset Council has agreed to apologise and pay his mum, known only as Miss Y for legal reasons, £200 for the distress and uncertainty caused, and to draw up a plan to see if the boy still needs the lift.

She said the authority had delayed installing the elevator between floors in her housing association property in 2018 and there were issues from when it was first fitted.

Miss Y told the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman the lift takes up space in two rooms, is a risk to her son - who has been left frightened after its frequent breakdowns.

She said the child, identified only as B, no longer needed it as he was now able to manage the stairs himself so asked last May for the council to take it away. 

The ombudsman sided with the authority on its refusal to take the lift away as B may need it in the future and its removal would cost £1,300. 

However, it found the council had raised Miss Y’s expectations the elevator could be removed and for 11 months she was unsure what would happen. 

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It told the authority to apologise, pay compensation and draft a policy for dealing with removal requests.

North Somerset Council was approached for comment.

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