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Shock for Durham stairlifts users
Another local authority is being forced to consider asking 1,700 people with stairlifts fitted via their funding system to pay ten pounds per week for maintenance. Durham County Council blames government spending cuts for needing to slash over 123m pounds from its spending over the next four years. Most chairlift installations currently have a warranty of between one and five years depending on what was negotiated with the supplier, and Durham council is looking at passing ownership of the stairlift to the user when the warranties, which include 24 hour emergency call out cover, run out.
Alan Hardwick, of Stockton on Tees, who suffers from spinal problems, has had a council stairlift for the past 15 years. The 69-year-old is angry at what he feels is another erosion of his income.
He said: "The council has sent out a letter saying it is reviewing the funding and the maintenance for stairlifts. "The council says we will have to pay for the stairlifts and I'm not happy about that at all. "If this is approved it will mean the council is chipping away at my pension, but it says it's a question of funding. "I can't see how they are going to save that much from this as they only come out for 20 minutes each year to check them if nothing goes wrong with them."
Keith Simpson, Managing Director of mobility products group Castle Comfort who install many stairlifts in the North East for private, self-funding customers who need a chairlift fitting quickly, said, “Mr Hardwick is correct. "Many local authorities allow grossly expensive ongoing maintenance contracts to be imposed by the supplier for modern products that require little more than cleaning on an annual basis. “If the user of a stairlift more than five years´old is faced with spending five hundred pounds per year, it may prove more sensible and economical, as absurd as it sounds, to have it removed and buy a new one.”
Seems the stairlifts and mobility products business has a lot of rougues in it, Durham and everywhere else - some now deservedly doing time! Make sure you don't let any firm in your house unless YOU have contacted THEM - if they knock on a door or cold telephone call .. bad newsReplyDelete