Disabled feeling 'pushed out' at centre named after wartime training base
A 22 stone man from Ingoldmells claims disabled people are being pushed out of a hall named after a wartime training base because of a ban on mobility scooters.
The man, a 56-year-old resident who prefers to remain anonymous, says he is unable to access the Royal,Arthur Centre by transferring to the wheelchair provided because he has to use one made specially for him and the doors are only standard size.
Bill Vincent, chairman of Ingoldmells Parish Council, says the council has spent thousands of pounds making the hall more accessible, including moving the meeting room downstairs and providing a mobility scooter shed - but the man says he still feels 'pushed out'..
""None of the changes are any good for me - simple as," he said. "I am not the only one upset mobility scooters have been banned.
"They say they have provided a wheelchair but there is only one and it's no good for me because it isn't big enough. I'd feel uneasy about someone helping me transfer to it who wasn't trained.
"My own wheelchair wouldn't fit through the doors because they are only standard size.
"As for the shed, it is open and it would still be really easy for someone to steal; a mobility scooter and it's too far for me to walk to get to the chair, even if I could fit in it.
"The library is at the hall as well as council meetings and I can't attend any of them."
Coun Vincent said he was aware there had been opposition when the notice banning mobility scooters went up on the door.
"We have looked into this and it is not illegal for us to do so," he said. "We've spent thousands making the hall more accessible for the disabled. We moved the council room downstairs and provided a wheelchair.
"We also spent £3,000 building a new scooter shed and are just about to spend a further £2,000 getting the floor of the hall renewed.
"We have to think of people's safety when we make these decisions. If a mobility scooter ran into someone, who would be liable?."