Ramsgate’s East Cliff lift will not open for ‘forseeable future’

East Cliff lift

The Edwardian seafront lift at Ramsgate’s East Cliff will remain shut “for the foreseeable future,” according to a report to Thanet council Cabinet members.

The Ramsgate lift and the Viking Bay lift in Broadstairs both had ‘permanently shut’ notices place on them on April 1 this year.

However, a public outcry followed,  including the launching of a petition by resident Barry Stickings, whose son is blind , saying the decision should be reversed and the lifts repaired.

Six days later the signs were removed but the lifts remained out of action.

A pledge was made by Thanet council to investigate the costs and feasibility of reopening the lifts, which provide access to the beaches for many people with disabilities and people with prams and buggies. It was announced that surveys would be carried out on both lifts with a view to bringing them both back into operation.

Barry Stickings with son Toby

It was discussed at a council meeting in May and again in June when Mr Stickings’ petition with 2180 valid signatures was presented, requesting that the seaside lifts at Viking Bay and Ramsgate be reopened.

Following works costing £17,500 the Viking Bay lift opened to the public on July 19. Work included major service wear items such as ropes, guides, sensors, the refurbishment of the butcher tank which holds the hydraulic oil, replacement of ground floor doors and a new electrical circuit board. All of the items were bespoke and had been manufactured by local companies.

Viking Bay lift Photos TDC

A report to councillors due to meet on August 31, says: “The lift is now in serviceable order, however there are ongoing issues with the control room which houses the new electrical board and hydraulics is in disrepair with the main issue being water ingress which will shorten the service life of new and refurbished components.

It is expected that the lift will close at the end of September when all summer resources are stood down.

Photo Frank Leppard

However, the Ramsgate lift has no reopening date earmarked.

There has been a £25,000 spend on repairing water damaged components following the theft of the lead roof at the start of 2021 but a further £35,000 is needed to replace the whole first floor entrance, control equipment, systems, operating panel, electrical circuit board wiring and much more.

Further investment is also needed for the lift structure, balustrades and finished surfaces. The report to councillors says: “Due to the cost of repairs this lift will remain closed for the foreseeable future .”

Another report will be made for councillors to consider a decision regarding the future for the lifts.

Labour councillors in Ramsgate’s East Cliff ward say they fear the lift will not reopen this side of 2023.

Ward councillors Steve Albon, Helen Crittenden and Corinna Huxley believe the council – led by a Conservative minority administration since June this year – will not prioritise the spend needed to get the lift working. Money already spent on essential repairs to the listed structure came from an insurance claim, following the theft of lead from the roof.

The Labour trio said: “It’s clear that there is a view within the council that the Ramsgate lift is not important enough to warrant further spending. We fundamentally disagree. It is a vital link between the seafront and the East Cliff promenade, especially for those with disabilities or who struggle with steps.”

The ward councillors say the former Labour administration had been committed to reopening both lifts but fear that the Ramsgate one will now not be considered by the new administration. The lifts were originally announced as closed under the Labour administration.

They added: “We’re now promised yet another cabinet report on the subject on an unspecified future date, which will be the third this year, on top of a debate at council, but the survey work for Ramsgate has now been done. There is no need for further delay in making a decision. We will continue to press for the lift to be reopened, even if it takes until after the 2023 elections.”

Portfolio holder Cllr Reece Pugh has been contacted for a response.

The issue will be discussed during the Cabinet meeting on August 31, starting at 7pm.


  1. Maybe they should have used the money that they spent on the West Cliff painted cycle lines that are completely ignored and were clearly a waste of tax payers money. Who signed that off?

    Do TDC not understand if you don’t keep things maintained it will cost you ten fold in the long run, they are a bunch of useless morons. As I have said before the whole lot need removing and every post re-applied for, there are so many dodgy deals and decisions that make no sense that you can only conclude brown envelopes are being handed around and they are all corrupt.

  2. Well, we’re back again. The article is right to point out the importance of the lifts and the pubic outrage at the Council notices that declared them both “perminantly closed” earlier this summer.
    However, the comments in the article from Labour, are disingenuous to say the least. The “Closed” notices were placed under the Labour leadership of TDC, before the Tories took back control!
    I have asked this question of various Labour Cllr’s on facebook – who authorised the “Closed” notices to be placed? I have never got a straight answer. The reason for pressing this is the lifts have obviously suffered a long regime of poor/no maintenance and who is at fault? TDC are to blame for this but who chose to allow this to happen? The Officers and the elected members did.
    So, while TDC wasted money on harbour pontoons and spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on Confidentiality Agreements with staff they sack/let go, the lifts were allowed to fall into disrepair.
    I think Ramsgate residents deserve answers. We can well do without vacuous and posturing statements from politicians who are, in effect, lying to us by witholding truths they must know.

    • Good post, hits the nail squarely on the head.
      TDC seems to be riddled with senior officers who are either incapable of doing their job or who have been around so long that they have forgotten it is their duty to serve the public.
      Likewise, too many of the politicians have been around too long, engaging in petty, Mickey Mouse, yah boo party politics for self advancement or to serve their own egos.
      Truly a rotten borough.

  3. Well I’m sure that’s is a fraction from the amount motorists pay for parking so get your priorities right for the disabled, pushchairs children and the elderly with bad knees etc. Probably wasted more on meetings about it he expenses they use for that. Terrible attitude for a small amount like this compared to your waste

  4. £35,000 needed which can’t be afforded.

    Maybe we all need to remember that TDC will be spending over £700,000 of our money in legal fees to deal with the various grievances, disciplinaries and general back stabbing which is going on around their top table of Executives paid six figure salaries a year ?

    It’s absolutely shameful that it’s ok to spend that kind of money because they can’t work together like adults but can’t find a fraction of that to repair a valuable community asset. Remember this every time they try and plead poverty.

    I hope Councillors of all parties read this and recognise their role in this debacle.

  5. Publish the reports and the quotes for repair. We need facts from our Councillors not ifs, buts and maybes. Judicial Review for discrimination against the less able?

  6. £25000 and then £35000. Let’s see the breakdown and the company charging this money. Show the facts and who is involved

  7. Hello. Just to clarify the situation. As the Eastcliff Ward councillors, Cllr Albon, Cllr Crittenden and I weren’t consulted before the “Permanently Closed” sign was put up at the entrance to the lift. The TDC Labour Cabinet at the time wasn’t consulted either and told TDC officers to remove the notice ASAP! The decision to close the lift permanently was taken by TDC officers without our knowledge or consent.
    Thanks. Corinna Huxley

    • This is pretty feeble stuff, as it is an admission that the TDC Labour Cabinet did not have a grip, that officers had no regard or respect for Cabinet and were running amok, doing what they decided was important.
      Thank you for confirming what many of us have suspected for a long time.

    • Councillor Huxley, of course the officers wouldn’t have informed the elected members. Everyone knows the senior managers at TDC run the place and view elected members as nothing other than an inconvenience and barrier to them getting exactly what they want. It’s not just Labour, it’s every administration that have ever been in power. This is exactly why TDC are constantly failing regardless of who is in power – the officers and senior management are the problem.

      For those that disagree, ask yourself the question what were the consequences to whoever made the decision not to involve elected members in this decision ? There were none. The elected members take the reputational hit and the senior managers continue unaffected. It was ever thus and will ever be until someone finally gets a grip and has a complete clear out of the top table.

      • Councillors don’t criticise individual officers in public because they are collectively their employer and the officers have no right of reply. It would be unfair and unprofessional to do so.

        Operational decisions are taken by officers as a matter of law. Policy decisions are taken by councillors. So if the lifts don’t work it’s for officers to put up a sign. It’s not for them to decide to permanently close them. Realistically councillors, who have other full-time jobs or other commitments, cannot make every decision on a day to day basis. But the notices should not have said what they did and would have been taken down earlier if they hadn’t come to our attention the day before Easter. But councillors got them taken down. Officers did not decide policy.

        The cycle markings are from bespoke central funding and that money could not lawfully have been spent on capital works to the lifts.

        • So do you know which officer made the decision to clise the lifts perminantly? I’m not asking you to tell us but just if you know.
          Next point is what are you doing to prevent officers taking policy decisions like this in future?
          Such a decision would not have taken by a junior officer in the management structure. Therefore I feel they were probably senior enough to know better.
          How are you protecting us from officers making rogue decisions?

  8. Funny how they can’t fix the lift’s but got there hand out for grant to take more imergrants. Ash Ashbee should be ashamed and take them in her own home, then she will understand why people don’t want they.

        • Yes, some of the words are recognisable as English, but you would struggle to find ‘imergrants’ in a dictionary. Still, 3 out of 10 for making an attempt to write a big word.

      • Sarcasm and personal insults ar totally un-called for on these pages, shame on you!
        There are some in our society who have difficulty with the written word for various reasons.
        The meaning of Chris’s comment was perfectly clear even with the odd grammar or spelling mistake,
        Be kind people. None of us are perfect in every way.

  9. We also need the West Cliff and Walpole lifts reopened. As I’ve pointed out before, all 4 lifts didn’t break down at the same time. They have been ignored by TDC for decades, regardless of what party was in power.

    • Yep huge number of such issues coming to the fore, lifts, port ramsgate loading facility, wintergardens, theatre royal, public toilets in general,granville ramsgate museum, to name but a few. All allowed to be tucked away out of sight by succesive councils over decades , won’t matter who leads the council its going to be impossible to sort it all out. So no doubt there will be more assets sold or transferred .
      Utter farce.

      • Spot on – yet according to the Local Government Association TDC is one of the highest spenders on HQ services…money for old rope?

  10. And this is what we pay our council tax for? Spend it on painting cycle lanes on the westcliff,and the lifts is should have gone.

  11. What happened to all the money they received from their dodgy deal with dreamland or should I say s**tland.

    • There have been suggestions that there is a substantial claim against the council in respect of the CPO used to purchase Dreamland from the then owner. Any surplus would do little more than return some of the cash TDC have put into Dreamland over the years.

  12. Of course this is Ramsgate we’re talking about not Margate. Have to save money in case anything needs doing in Margate.

  13. So Broadstairs get their lift repaired and Ramsgate doesn’t. What a suprise! Lovely but pointless painted lines all along the promenade, though. Once again, this council proves itself not fit for puepose

  14. TDC’s ongoing wilful denigration of Ramsgate to invest in Margate continues unabated. Ramsgate Town Council and our representatives like Councillors make promises that they will stand up for Ramsgate, shamefully discard the voters and hardworking folk, not needed now they have been elected. Politicians – who should help but really don’t care now they have their jobs.

    • Well said Captain Jack, Ramsgate Town Council are as bad as Thanet council, the Ramsgate mayor is far up her own backside it’s unbelievable

  15. And yet funds were found for the absurd cycle lanes nobody wants.

    The political point scoring in this article is extremely tedious. Residents deserve so much better.

  16. Tdc, seem to be lost when it comes to elevators.

    Its embarrassing tdc cant sort out the west cliff lift, not to mention the two lifts in the royal! harbour multi filth car park.
    The two lifts have been taken out of use and the doors boarded up for such a long time now.

    What will tdc get wrong next ?

    Tdc, please try harder !

  17. Here’s a suggestion for those who serve us at TDC. Place your heads up your backsides and blow your noses until the pressure equalises then you might just get an understanding of how to serve the Thanet electorate in a manner acceptable to all.

  18. It’s funny how they find money to take care of the traveler’s down the Ramsgate port, and can’t find the money for the taxpayers of Ramsgate, the mayor is so far up her own arse it’s unbelievable

    • Because they are legally obliged to do so. They don’t have the same legalobligation to repair the lift. If you want to direct your anger at anyone it should be the government as they have starved local authorities of cash for the last decade so that all services have been cut to the bone. And yet idiots in Thanet keep voting for Mackinlay and Gale.

      • Obviously a sufficient number of idiots believe that the people they vote for are better than the alternative. Surely it’s a case of the alternative options on voting day not being sufficiently persuasive.

        • Pretty much every party have been in charge of TDC at one time or another, and they’ve all proved disastrous (the Greens are untried, but having visited Brighton recently and seen 4 foot high weeds growing out of the middle of pavements I certainly wouldn’t vote for them).

  19. If the council can’t afford to mend the lifts, perhaps instead it could afford to install dropped kerbs- or better still, table junctions_ in town. This would make it easier for almost everybody to cross streets, and would fit in with the proposed improvements to the Highway Code.

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