Access for All Meeting held on 7 March: Summary of Issues. Next Meeting Tuesday June 6th – please contact us to book and sign up to take part in future action.

The first Fair Frome Access for All meeting was held at the Football Club on the 7th March at 12.30

The summary is recorded below – please read these main issues that were highlighted and discussed.  

We are now ready to move forward with how we can effect some of the changes identified at a follow-up meeting at the Assembly Rooms at 10.00 am to 2.00 pm on Tuesday 6th June, to be sponsored by Gracewell of Frome. 

For more information and to register for the event please contact Fair Frome Coordinator Wendy Miller-Williams at info@fairfrome.org  and if relevant, please state your own particular area of interest regarding working on issues to be tackled or skills that you are happy to bring to the project.  

On the 15th of May at 2.00pm we are staging a publicity event of a wheelchair/buggy push around the town to highlight the issues raised at the last meeting (and to publicise our next meeting on 6th June Assembly rooms 10-2.00pm).  Supporters welcome – especially if you’re a wheelchair user/buggy pusher! 

Karen

 

 Summary

The meeting was well attended with over 50 people.

There were good discussions and an exchange of views and experiences

The meeting highlighted the range of barriers that exist in Frome to people with access issues. Attendees at the meeting also highlighted the very wide nature of issues that can lead to access difficulties. These include of course wheelchair users but also many other individuals and families with both “visible” and “invisible” disabilities. People also raised the difficulties many young families with buggies experience getting in to and out of buildings, crossing roads and the lack of or inadequacy of changing facilities. All these challenges are surmountable and would benefit both users and businesses and shops in allowing greater access and therefore increasing business potential. The overriding message was the access isn’t a minority issue it is one which touches every family in Frome.

 Some of the areas discussed at the meeting included:

Lack of hearing loops and audio description at  Theatres

Lack of information available in alternative formats, braille, large print etc

Lack of understanding from stewards/box office staff when taking bookings from a disabled person

It was felt that training could improve this

Lack of appropriate facilities in public buildings and who is accountable

The idea of an audit of facilities on public buildings was discussed and is to be implemented.

 

 Public transport

This was a concern with limited seating available whilst waiting and limited room on the bus for wheelchairs, mobility Scooters or children’s buggies

Proper consultation with bus companies could lead to better facilities and improved awareness

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Cheap Street

This was recognised as a problem for those unable to cross the stream

A solution could be putting a couple of crossing places across the stream using a metal grille. The idea of more shops having ramped access was also discussed.

 

Disabled parking and the current regulations outside the cinema in Cork Street.

Perhaps the parking could be disabled at all times not just after six

 

Disabled toilet in car park

This toilet not being radar key operated, except after a certain time, means that it can be used by all during the day.  A solution could be to make the toilet radar key operated at all times.

 

There is also a real need for a Changing Places toilet

This issue is being discussed at Mendip District Council

 

Dropped Kerbs

Vehicles parking across them and a lack of them in appropriate places

Public awareness for drivers who do not realize the difficulties they cause when they park across dropped kerbs

An audit of locations of dropped kerbs to be done to highlight where the problems are

 

Shop/Resturants/Cafes Entrances

Heavy or impractical doors often cause a problem as well as outward opening doors

Some places could install push button electric doors

 

Leisure Centre

No hoist to allow full access for people to be able to use the pool

Limited disabled changing facilities that could be improved

Improved children’s changing facilities

Discussion with Manager needed here to see what could be done

 

Lack of play equipment in the park for disabled children

This needs to be looked into and proper provision made.

 

Safe crossing places needed

More crossing places needed to be able to get around the town safely as well as crossings needed to allow people to get to the town from where they live.

Consultation needed to see where crossings are needed

 

Shopping Centre

The issue of shop layout, aisle width causing issues with access.

Also could we bring back our Shopmobility that was withdrawn due to lack of funding?

It was felt that all shops in the main shopping centre should have ramped access.  (Some do but not all)

Discussion with individual shops could affect a change

 

Plan for the Future

These were the main issues that were highlighted and discussed, we now need to move forward with identifying how we can affect some of these changes

We plan to have another meeting at the Assembly Rooms on the 6th June from 10am till 2pm. The meeting will be sponsored by Gracewell of Frome.

For more information and to register for the event please contact Fair Frome Coordinator Wendy Miller- Williams at info@fairfrome.org  and if relevant, please state your own particular area of interest regarding working on issues to be tackled or skills that you are happy to bring to the project.

 

 

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