Disabilities

Audit of facilities within village that cater for disabled people
There are a few small meeting rooms in public houses which are all difficult to access (upstairs or through small passages). Many groups are unwilling or unable through their constitution to meet in licensed premises.
The local primary school hall is difficult to access as the main entrance has 2 steps and wheelchair access is by way of a side entrance that is not available out of hours. The hall is only available in evening term time. Acoustics is poor.

The Methodist chapel is shortly to be demolished but the site vacated is too small to become a viable village hall site.

The local church is the wrong shape for most meetings, expensive to heat, has no open area and no car parking. There is a ramp for wheelchairs into the church but access to toilet facilities is difficult. Acoustics is poor.
The local Scout hut is too small, expensive to run with inadequate toilet facilities in need of refurbishment and lies at the end of an unadopted road. Scout hut constitutions also do not allow these venues to be hired to outside bodies.

The local Sports & Social Club runs successfully without debt but has inadequate accommodation for all user’s needs and the fabric of the building is coming to the end of its viable life. Access to toilet facilities is difficult and not compliant with DDA. There is no hearing loop.

The surrounding villages of Wolverley and Kinver both have elderley village halls but there are no transport links which disenfranchises a large section of our disabled community.

Outcome
It is recommended that a new community building is established within the village that will comply with all current DDA legislation. The business plan should allow for a margin of £1,000/year to update facilities for the disabled to keep ahead of current legislation. The proposed plan should include wheelchair access to all entrances, a Baby Change Unit in the disabled WC, kitchen fittings comprising base units, wall units, sink and drainer and specifically a sink and drainer with adjoining worktop all mounted on adjustable wall brackets with clear space directly below for wheelchair use and to full disabled standards with lever tap controls. A mobile foldaway wheelchair platform lift should be located under stage to serve the stage area with user controls to disabled standards and emergency battery backup electrical system to maintain facility in the event of a mains power cut.

Hearing loops installed to main hall, meeting rooms, snooker room and lounge area. The proposal should include utilising the area in front of the MUGA that already has established vehicular access as an extra car park for village hall staff and disabled vehicles. This would produce 19 car parking spaces of which at least 3 would be for disabled use.

Ian Hinksman  March 2008








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