Having been away for a mini break if there is such a thing I have been struggling to keep up with developments in the whole park saga.
Firstly the local newspaper had a full page spread this week, with a number of letters from people summing up their feelings. All in support of keeping the KHM where it is currently, exploring alternative cheaper options to alleviate the noise, investing in the ASB, and as one person rather poignantly wrote which wasn’t published but really touched me was from our close friends Allie and Dave Lowe she summed it up by saying “Neil Seach and his family are very close friends to me and my family. We see Neil not the disabled person but there is no denying he has hurdles to face that others including me don’t give a second thought to… But life can change in a flash could you imagine not being able to take your child to the park? And not only that having to explain to your young child why? No disabled access? A hurdle no disabled parent should have to overcome in the 21st Century.”
I have also discovered a number of Councillors have been knocking on peoples doors to speak to them about their complaints. This to me ever the skeptic after months of delaying tactics is so there is no formal record of the responses to the complaints. People are sharing this on social media nonetheless so the message is spreading.
Interestingly one lady has spoken to a local Police Liaison and they have confirmed that at no point over the past 18 months has their been reports to them of anti social behaviour. Hmmm interstingly they also share the view that relocating the equipment to the Rec is not the right course of action as they have been working with the youths to expand this park for themselves and give them somewhere out of the town centre to hang around in.
It is also somewhat unsurprising to hear that the most popular Wymondham Facebook page Wymondham Matters has people feeding back information to local Councillors regarding what the public are planning. It is perfectly normal and expected we are after all supposedly a democracy.
Once again Councillor Julian Halls has stepped up to the plate and is doing all he can to get three other Councillors on board to reassess their decision making, apparently the item can be looked at and readdressed under the constitution if enough Councillors support this. I am keeping everything crossed that he is successful in securing the votes he needs. He has also promised to keep me informed as to when the Leisure and Environment subcommittee will formerly meet to discuss disabled access as this does not seem to be well advertised.
A number of people have written to their ward Councillors and asked them to reconsider the decision. Most importantly on the grounds of disability discrimination where under section 19 of the public service equality duty they are failing to adhere to this and promote inclusion of disabled parents and children.
Me personally, well whilst on holiday I wrote my second complaint letter under the council’s complaint procedure having taken advice from The Equality Advisory Service they have been invaluable to me, I spoke to a representative from their company for close to an hour. He was very helpful and professional. He took all the information and opened up a case file and then as I got upset he told me to let it all out and not to worry as he’d had people cry with him many times. It is this side of the impact that the council do not see, along with the disappointment in my LG’s eyes. You cannot put a price on, a lot of the emotional turmoil, upset and lack of quality play time that we get to spend together! Furthermore he directed me to their website and a resource section with template letters to use.
Today I have now posted my letter off to the council once again, hopeful that they will respond within their time frames. Unfortunately for me two of my ward Councillors are directly involved with the complaint and therefore not impartial in the process itself. I have as a result asked for it to be looked at by my one remaining ward Councillor and two others who thus far seem to be open and fair in their summing up of all viewpoints.