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 [email protected] 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!
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.
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
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
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
Heavy or impractical doors often cause a problem as well as outward opening doors
Some places could install push button electric doors
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
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 [email protected] 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.