Prioritising disabled accessibility turned from idea to commitment yesterday as councillors approved signing up to a disability impact pledge.
The move came as councillors discussed how beach access, respite care and pavement cycling should be addressed by Brighton and Hove City Council’s new Accessible City Strategy.
Brighton and Hove City Council began developing the strategy last year, and last night a report on its progress was presented to the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee (TECC).
Officers took the opportunity to recommend signing the pledge, which has been drawn up by UK thinktank the Disability Policy Centre, before it is finalised.
Head of communities, equality and third sector at the council Emma McDermott said: “It sets a commitment to disabled communities.
“We do a lot of work around LGBTQ and we have an anti-racism pledge but for disabled communities we’ve not shown a broader commitment.”
Labour Councillor Alan Robins said: “You learn so much when you actually speak to people who live this.
“I learnt things like if you’ve got three children, one is disabled and the other two want to go to the beach what do you do?
“Do you leave one child on the prom while two children go to the sea or do no children go to the sea?
“It’s key that we really do take the time and the effort to listen to the people who live this everyday of their life, know what they’re talking about and we don’t dismiss it or pay lip service to it.”
The final strategy is due to be put to TECC in March. It was proposed that the update should be shared with the environment, transport and sustainability committee and also that each council directorate is involved in the development of the strategy.
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