Seniors welcome council call for hall access improvements

PUBLISHED: 09:20 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:03 15 June 2010

HONITON Senior Council has welcomed news that pressure is to be put on East Devon District Council to improve disabled access at the Mackarness Hall.

HONITON Senior Council has welcomed news that pressure is to be put on East Devon District Council to improve disabled access at the Mackarness Hall.Honiton Town Council is demanding action after the senior council complained existing facilities do not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.Town councillors on Monday discussed the anomaly of the district authority not complying with regulations it enforces on others"We are very pleased that the town council is taking up this issue," said senior council secretary Tony Simpson. "It affects a great number of people in Honiton, especially older citizens and the disabled, but also some younger people."We are surprised it has taken this long, seeing as East Devon District Council has leased the building for a long time and should have implemented improvements years ago."Mr Simpson added: "We look forward to a speedy resolution so the hall is accessible to all."Former mayor Councillor Vernon Whitlock raised the issue of the Mackarness Hall at the town council's February meeting after being approached by the senior council. He advised complaints had been received regarding the suitability of toilet provision and other health and safety issues at the hall. Councillor Whitlock had been advised by East Devon District Council that a full disabled access audit had been carried out but, where buildings were of limited future use to the council, steps would not be taken.The district council leases the building from the parish church, but the agreement will expire in around 18 months' time.


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