Around £250,000 will be spent this year, providing disabled people with improved access to public buildings across Caerphilly county borough.
The funds from Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Disability Equality Group will be dedicated to continuing work to make access to schools, libraries, community centres, offices and other public buildings easier for everyone.
In 2013/14, 55 of the Council’s properties benefited from a wide variety of improvements, including the addition of automatic doors, ramps, guard rails and intercom systems. An innovative flexi step system has also been installed at the majority of secondary schools across the county borough. These unique steps can convert into a platform lift at the push of a button, providing a safe and simple access route for people with mobility issues or wheelchair users.
Thanks to the funding last year all county borough schools also now have a hearing loop system in place to support those who are hard of hearing. Primary schools have a portable system located at the main reception, while secondary comprehensive schools have a powerful static system in their main halls.
With the funding secured for further work this financial year, the Disability Equality Group plan to continue improving access for everyone in all of the Council’s public-accessed buildings. Work will include full access audits of all major sites, assessment of polling stations, and a comprehensive assessment and improvement work to emergency exits for disabled users.
Cllr David Hardacre, Cabinet Member for Performance & Asset Management, said: “At Caerphilly Council we are committed to ensuring we fulfil our responsibility of providing all residents and visitors to the county borough with equal opportunities to access our services, regardless of their age, gender, race or disability.”
“Significant progress has been made in bringing our buildings up to standard, however there is still much work to do. This funding will provide us with the opportunity to remove any obstacle preventing some people receiving the best possible service from us.”