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Brentwood Centre: Lib Dem councillors call for improved accessibility

November 11, 2020 2:56 PM
Originally published by Brentwood Liberal Democrats

As Brentwood Council seeks a new operator for the Brentwood Leisure Centre, we have asked that the facility becomes easier to access for those with mobility issues.

The current blue badge spaces are situated at the end of a long path to the centre's entrance, with further treks inside to access facilities. It is probable that when these were put in place some years ago, consideration was only given to wheelchair users and gave adequate space for those people to use their equipment but, although that is certainly essential, around 80% of disabled people are not wheelchair-dependant and so, spaces right outside the centre's doors are required.

Cllr Karen Chilvers, who is disabled following an accident a few years ago, said:

"It became apparent at the election counts in the last few years that these spaces were to far away from the doors and special arrangements were made in 2019 for me to park on the left of the front door just to get in to the centre. Unfortunately and despite this, no changes have been made to make things easier for disabled people so far however, now we are looking for a new operator it is definitely an appropriate time to ask for improvements to be made.

"This can only be good news for disabled users, or potential users, and for the viabiity of the Brentwood Centre itself. I am pleased to confirm that initial responses from council officers have been warm to my request".

Pilgrims Hatch's Cllr Vicky Davies backed Karen's call saying:

"l look forward to the reopening of the Brentwood Centre at the earliest opportunity and when safe to do so . For too many years disabled parking bays have been woefully inadequate making access to the centre stressful and sometimes impossible.
"With a new management team in place it is a great opportunity to improve and increase parking provision for the many visitors with disabilities. The Brentwood Centre must be welcoming, easily accessible and safe for all residents".
Cllr Karen Chilvers

Cllr Karen Chilvers

Cllr Vicky Davies

Cllr Vicky Davies

Read more about why the centre is currently closed.