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Disabled access sparks debate

  • September 6, 2008
  • Bruce Bromley

Watford Observer UK
By Hayley Korn Â»
Disabled access to council meetings has sparked heated discussion amongst councillors and residents in Kings Langley.

Stan Gray, 83, of Havelock Road, has requested improved access in Kings Langley Parish Council offices in Vicarage Lane for several years, because he says he is unable to climb a staircase leading to the room and would like to attend meetings.

Dacorum Borough Council, which leases the building to the parish council, has obtained funding to install a lift.

This scheme is now being drafted, subject to necessary planning and listed building consent, however, one councillor, Steve Cox, raised several questions at this week\”™s parish council meeting.

Councillor Cox has put forward a list of questions, including whether the borough council has investigated other feasible solutions to providing disabled access, whether any security measures have been incorporated into the proposed lift to prevent unauthorised use, what consultation if any, has been carried out with existing hall hirers to determine if the reduced floor space would impinge upon future bookings and who will be responsible for maintenance of the lift.

During the meeting, he also, raised his concerns about what investigations have been undertaken with regard to complying with disabled legislation.

Amy Bingham, representative for Dacorum Borough Council, said: \”Dacorum Borough Council has obtained funding to install a lift. This scheme is now being drafted, subject to necessary planning, and has been forwarded to the parish council for consultation.

“The council looked into a stair lift, but due to the steep nature of the staircase, it is not feasible.