Thursday, 4 October 2012

County Councillor Fights For Better Access For Disabled

Cllr Belinda Brooks-Gordon and
NIAB resident Ian Howell

A Cambridge councillor has taken up the plight of a disabled resident who is struggling to leave his home after pavements and roads were left unfinished on his estate.

Belinda Brooks-Gordon, who represents Castle ward on Cambridgeshire County Council, is campaigning to help Ian Howell who is worried about going out alone in case he falls out of his wheelchair.

Ian, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, moved into Kings Court on the NIAB development in Huntingdon Road almost two years ago and is concerned that work has been left unfinished.

A short trip from his home to the garage shop in Huntingdon Road is fraught with danger because the lack of a dropped kerb on the north side of Whitehouse Lane means he has to go into the road.

Ian said: “It’s so frustrating. I can’t take a straight route to the shop because of the uneven pavements and unfinished roads. I use up a lot of my energy taking a longer route round the estate.

“I’m worried about going out on my own in case I fall out of my chair. They haven’t thought about wheelchair users on this site.”

Belinda, who is registered disabled and suffers from Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus, a disease which causes the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack healthy tissue, says she is aware of the difficulties disabled people face.

“We should be doing everything we can to make it easy and safe for disabled people to get around,” she said. “They should not be left to negotiate dangerous hazards just to make a short journey to the shops.”

Belinda has urged other disabled people living in the area to get in touch to share the problems they face.