Hypocrite Harpers office inaccessible to wheelchair users
Having bleated on about how all shops and restaurants around the UK should improve access to wheelchair users, it must have come as a bit of an embarrassment when Mark Harper was accused of hypocrisy when it was found his own high street constituency offices were not accessible by wheelchair with a lack of suitable ramps and door ways wide enough.
His office in Cinderford High Street invites all including the disabled however the large stone step outside his front door provides a bit of an obstacle for wheelchairs. having launched a survey only last week stating that a fifth of shops were excluding wheelchair-users, this must be a tad awkward for him.
You can see the survey here@ http://www.disabledgo.com/blog/2014/12/disabledgo-study-shocks-the-government-with-evidence-of-inaccessible-british-high-streets/
That confident, Mr Harper told businesses that they were “missing a trick by not doing more to tap into this market” and that improving accessibility was “a no-brainer”. He was the one who launched the Accessible Britain Challenge where he challenged all communities to make accessibility easier for all disabled including improving wheelchair access.
To be fair, Mr Harper went on to say "If any wish to meet me to discuss an issue in person at a surgery, then I hold these on a regular basis in accessible venues around the constituency. A small proportion of constituents call at the office in Cinderford in person. If a wheelchair user was to do so, then we do have a ramp available.”
However, his constituency team has repeatedly refused to answer key questions from DNS about the access arrangements in the office.
This lead to Mr Liam Proudlock, a disabled access consultant to interfere, stating that he was not too happy about this. Having looked in to it further he assessed the access and states it could be possible to use a temporary ramp to allow access for some wheelchair-users, but because of the slope it would need to be “quite a specialist ramp that has a wedge at one end, and turning through the narrow doorway and over the threshold would in fact be very difficult”.
“In fact, the Disability Discrimination Act required physical adaptations as long ago as 1999 and ‘reasonable’ adjustments including physical alterations to premises should have been complete by 2004. So Mr Harper really doesn't have a leg to stand on ! and needs to sort our wheelchair access real soon.