LETTER: Access to blame
PUBLISHED: 13:02 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 23:35 12 November 2016
All councillors knew that if Cllr Mrs Lay could get to a venue that had proper disability access, the six month rule for non-attendance would not have been invoked.
A councillor who wanted to carry out her duties but was prevented simply due to the lack of access to this public building and who believed the situation was being dealt with.
The fact is the issue of access to the chamber was ongoing and the access problems had not been resolved. An unresolved ongoing situation. This is confirmed in a reply email from the Town Clerk to Cllr Mrs Bucknor in which he states:
“On September 5 Councillor Alan Lay asked me to take no further action with regard to taking a meeting “off-site” as he felt a solution to his wife’s difficulty in accessing the Council Chamber could be overcome by her “travelling” between the stair lift and the council chamber in a wheelchair. He stated that he would discuss that possibility with his wife and “get back to me”.
On October 17 Cllr Alan Lay informed me that the wheelchair option would not be possible and asked that his earlier request for a meeting at a venue other than Wisbech Town Council be pursued.
I agreed to pursue his request. On October 24 you made a request that Wisbech Town Council holds a meeting at a venue other than Wisbech Town Hall so that Mrs Lay could attend a meeting. As you say, the leader of the council agreed that the matter would be pursued”.
This is clear that disabled UKIP Cllr Mrs Lay was prevented from attending council meetings due to access. If the council had undertaken to seek an alternative venue this unsavoury situation would not have occurred. After all, it would only need to be two meetings a year, approximately £50 a meeting. Mrs Lay was voted in by residents of the Waterlees Village ward but has been prevented from carrying out her duties by lack of access to the council chamber. What Price Democracy.
CLLR MICHAEL BUCKNOR
Independent Fenland and
Wisbech Town Councillor