Lack of disabled access at Wisbech Town Hall means councillor finds it “extremely difficult” to attend meetings

Cllr Alan Lay helps his wife Cllr Brenda Lay up the improvised ramp at Wisbech Town Hall.

Cllr Alan Lay helps his wife Cllr Brenda Lay up the improvised ramp at Wisbech Town Hall. - Credit: Archant

A disabled councillor has been unable to attend some meetings at Wisbech Town Hall because of the lack of wheelchair access.

Councillor Brenda Lay and her husband Alan were both appointed town councillors in May. They have been alarmed to discover how much of an ordeal it is for her to get into the council chamber.

A ramp needs to be put out for Cllr Brenda Lay so she can get into the building, but there are times this is not possible because vehicles are blocking the entrance.

The Lays have been told access will be improved, but “no timeframe has been set for that”.

Cllr Alan Lay said: “We assumed there would be access, but there is none. The clerk said up until we arrived they never knew it was a problem. They have to rectify it - they say no timeframe has been set for it other than it will be done.

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“This is the fifth time we’ve come here and it doesn’t get any easier. It’s extremely difficult. There are times when a vehicle is parked in front of the entrance and we have to lift Brenda into the building.

“We are entitled to be at every meeting but it is so difficult to get in the chamber there are times Brenda has decided it’s not worth the hassle.”

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Councillor Lay says there are a dozen shops in town his wife is unable to shop at because of a lack of access.

He said: “In some shops, it’s impossible to get in. There are 12 shops which have lost our custom. It’s about human rights. Sometimes the isle is only just big enough for a wheelchair.

“It’s been recognised in Great Britain that buildings need to be made accessible, but some older buildings are protected, so they feel they can’t alter them too much.”

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