MARYPORT Town Council is seeking legal advice after claiming that Allerdale District Council spent £200,000 renovating the town hall 'without any attempt to repair leaks first'.

Within days of Maryport town hall's grand re-opening, town councillors claim water has been streaming in.

'Walls were streaked and carpets soaked - something that Allerdale knew would happen', Maryport town councillors claim.

This week councillors said the problems, stemming from the town hall chimney, had been going on for more than 20 years.

They were also angered by an email from Allerdale's property and estate manager who said he did not intend to meet the council or to correspond further "until there is some progress to report."

Cllr Stephen Ashworth described the reaction as "disrespectful".

Mayor Peter Kendall said the damp has been an ongoing problem saying: "They [Allerdale] have kicked it into the long grass for 24 years."

"Several years ago large chunks of plaster fell off the chamber ceiling, landing on the mayor's chair and desk.

"Last week, plaster has been falling off the wall on the other side of the room."

A spokesman for Allerdale District Council said the council has been in close contact with Maryport Town Council and shares the desire to see it remedied.

She said: "An engineer's report showed that there were issues with safely accessing the back of the building.

"Therefore, we are working on a solution to this issue and will update the town council as soon as possible. 

"The issue of water ingress on the ground floor of the building during heavy periods of rain, which occurred after the town hall was reopened last year, has been fixed.

"Some flashing needed to be replaced which has remedied the problem. The damp issue on the upper floors where the town council has its offices is not related to this. 

"The ambitious renovation plans for the Town Hall did not include this part of the building and the money spent on the overall project is completely separate from the council's budget for these repairs." 

Maryport clerks have been asked to seed legal advice on what they can do to force Allerdale's hand before the new Cumberland authority comes into being.