It costs £5 per year to send each member notices by post. We do not want to charge members and we want to continue to send out post to members without emails, this currently costs us £150 per year. How can we ensure that the people who receive post still want to receive it?
Read about the victory to reinstate Blue Badges for other types of disability.
The City Council have confirmed this morning that with immediate effect they are amending their Blue Badge application process for the terminally ill which will now be fast tracked. Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign against their unfair system. The fee issue is also going to be reviewed at the next council meeting. All in all a great victory.
STAND contributed to a meeting to discuss the need for and possible ways of providing community transport.
Our view was that it is definately needed as many disabled people are unable to use public transport. (bus stops too far away, possibly no space for a wheelchair or buggie)
The Newcastle model seemed to be working well and could possibly be expanded to include Stoke-on-Trent or possible the Council could work with taxi/private hire firms to provide this service.
The final report is 999 pages long and can be read here Scoping Report but the conclusions are:
8.1 Our conclusions are that demand for a service of some kind in Stoke is significant, that the role of Stoke-on-Trent City Council should be defined and a working group be formed to progress any initiative. We recommend that
the existing Door2Door service in Newcastle is extended to cover Stoke
volunteering opportunities around transport are enhanced
a taxi ‘gold standard’ is investigated, and
a database of minibus provision is compiled as a preliminary to forming a brokerage.
As STAND members are aware this has been an ongoing problem for many years. The time people have to wait for a first appointment, the time between appointments and the tightening up of the criteria by which people qualify for Chiropody. All our MPs have been very pro active in helping us with this, writing to CCG and to Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership who are responsible for providing the service. We have had a reply from the Chief Executive, Stuart Poyner, via Rob Flello MP. You can read his reply here Podetry013 The bold type is from my letter complaining about the service and the ordinary type is his reply. The contact address is there on the letter if you want to reply to his points.
Rob Flello MP has been very active on our behalf and we are now gathering case studies of members who have had problems in accessing this service. Please contact STAND if you have a story to tell.
STAND members met with Cllr Jack Brereton and Council officials to do a site visit to investigate the problem with the kerb in Tontine Street and Percy Street Hanley.
It was immediately apparent that the colour of the kerb and the gutter was the same and so people had been tripping over the kerb. It was proposed to be resolved by taking out a row of kerb edge stones and replacing them with a lighter colour to make the visual difference between the road and the pavement clear.
Cllr Jack Brereton informed us on 8th Dec 2015 that this work would be carried out within the year. Our thanks go to Cllr Brereton for taking the time and effort to resolve this issue.
This work has been completed. It looks fantastic and even more important there have been no more cases of trips and falls reported to STAND.
STAND has now resolved this issue with the hospital. See the letter at the end of this section.
We are having reports of porters refusing to push wheelchairs out of the hospital to disabled patients cars. Apparently they are not allowed to push any further than the hospital building itself.
A few years ago a STAND member was abandoned at the front door of the hospital, on her own, unable to walk, and in a push wheelchair. We were assured that it would never happen again, but it has. This is the response from the hospital.
Healthwatch are aware of this situation and I have also emailed our local MPs.
At our meeting on 8th Dec 2015 we had representatives from Rob Flello’s office Lisa Nixon and Adrian Jenkins who said that Rob had already written to Mark Hackett at Royal Stoke about this.
I wrote to Mark Hackett and the chair of the board a fortnight ago and have not had any response.
Head of Facilities – Service Transformation
Members remain concerned that no definative guarentee has been given that this situation will not happen again and no system seems to be in place to deal with the problem so I emailed Stuart Poyner to raise it with him. He passed it to Dr Robert Courtney-Harris and he passed it to Mandi Dunbar his PA, who in turn passed it to John Simpson. He emailed me to say he was expecting some positive news on this issue soon. Watch this space!!
AT last!! Success. A policy to ensure this does not happen again.
- Disabled visitors who feel they may not be able to safely transit from their car to their point of care may use the Trust’s Patient Transport service. This service may be able to offer a complete “door to door” service for hospital visits, therefore removing any unnecessary waiting or distress for disabled patients.
- Where disabled visitors make their own way to the hospital and need assistance returning to their vehicle, the Trust’s volunteers are available to assist disabled patients in returning to their car following treatment once they become available.
- In exceptional cases, such as when there are no volunteers working at that time or at times when volunteers may be engaged in assisting other patients and/or visitors for a prolonged period of time, a Trust Porter may, on request, assist a disabled visitor to their car. However, there may be slight wait for this service when porters are engaged in assisting other patients.
Head of Facilities
Members have complained about the behaviour of some drivers blocking disabled bays and overcharging disabled users.
Great news from 6th April this year it is illegal for taxi drivers to discriminate against people with disabilities.
At our meeting on 8th Dec 2015 we had an update from Rachel Wallwork. The council are trying very hard to address this issue ( see an earlier email below) but they need your help in reporting instances of abuse. Please take all detail possible car reg, drivers number, date time place etc. and report it by email [email protected] or ring 01782 232774
I am also told that private hire charges are not determined by the council. They can charge what they like as long as it is agreed before hand, but they cannot charge a disabled person more for the same journey as an able bodied person. The council cannot take action on this discrimination but they will help the individuals to take action.
Paul from PHAB FREEWHEELERS 01782 812625 has also had complaints from some of his members.
If you have any problems with this issue, please report it to email [email protected] or ring 01782 232774
Alex Shaw has written the following guidance to help:
There are two kinds of vehicle that people call 'taxis' Hire Cars and Hackney Carriages (which is the legal name for proper taxis) but so far as the law is concerned they are very different. Hire Cars have a yellow plate fitted at the rear of the vehicle which bears a two or three digit number. They are not fitted with a meter and can charge more or less what they want. If you are charged more than you consider to be reasonable for travelling in one of these all you can do is complain to the driver. Real taxis (Hackney Carriages) have a white plate fixed at the rear and have a TAXI sign on top and are fitted with a meter. What they can charge you is fixed by the local authority and it is a criminal offence if they charge you more. You should not be charged more than the amount displayed on the meter [plus say 50p at most but this is questionable, see item (3) below] so if you are overcharged for a taxi journey and wish to complain you must do the following. (1) Make sure that the taxis meter is switched on and if not ask. Why? (You will usually be told it is broken) (2) Make a note of the journey start and end points. (3) Note the time it takes to load and unload your chair (The drivers often justify the extra charge as 'waiting time.' It is questionable whether this is allowed but must not be more than 10p for each 40 second period) (4) Make a note of the meter reading (If the meter is not switched on note this also) (5) Note the number on the white plate on the rear of the vehicle. You must complain to the Licensing Department located in Hanley Town Hall. This may appear a little onerous but if you wish to succeed you will need this information, however, in consolation, if you are overcharged the taxi owner is legally obliged to refund your money and if they are doing their job the council will also impose a penalty. Alex Shaw 32 Albert St Sandford Hill ST3 5ED [email protected]keontrent.plus.com Telephone: 01782 341066
STAND has been assured that all instances of this kind of discrimination will be severely dealt with. Please let me know if you have any problems or successes after contacting Rachel as we are closely monitoring this situation.
I had this email from Rachel this morning 25.8.15
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 11th March at 10.00am at Stoke Town Hall. We meet at the disabled entrance in Kingsway at 9.50 am so we can be escorted to our room. The agenda can be found by clicking this link Agenda Gen 11 April 17 The meeting is open to everyone, but you need to be a member to speak in the meeting. Membership is free and a membership form can be found on our membership page.
The Supermarket survey showed up a big problem that disabled people have with the abuse of blue badge bays on land not owned by the local Authority.
STAND wrote to the department for Transport. Read their reply Blue badge parking on private land
Apparently owners of land with disabled bays marked out DO have a responsibility to ensure that they are properly used. Failure to do this could constitute discrimination and a breach of the Equality Act 2010.
STAND invited Matthew Ellis Police and Crime Commissioner to a meeting on 10th Feb 2015 to discuss the problems cause by inconsiderate people parking on pavements putting disabled, blind people and parents with pushchairs at risk.
Stand received the following news on 9th June 2015:
Thank you for your email to the Commissioner. The Commissioner can confirm
that since your earlier meeting, there has been an introduction of ‘Police
Advisory Notice’ booklets. These booklets have been issued to all Local
Policing Teams across Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent and are due to start
being used by local PCSO’s with effect from this week. The issuing of a
notice is subject to the following offences;
parking on a footpath;
facing the wrong way at night;
The Commissioner does hope that this information is of use. If I can be of
any further assistance then please do not hesitate to contact me.
Business Support Officer
Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner
Let us hope these advisory notices will make a difference
We were told by a member that the PCSOs had not been issued with these advisory notices so I emailed Matthew Ellis’s office and was assured that they had been issued with these notices so if you should spot a PCSO ignoring this problem, take his number, time, date and place and let Matthews office know. It is only with your help that anything will be done.
A Bill Asking for The Banning of Pavement Parking is to receive it’s second reading in Dec 2015.It was originally proposed by Martin Harwood but it ran out of time and did not receive a second reading. Simon Hoare MP proposed this Bill this year [email protected]
STAND has asked all our local MPs to support this Bill. Update Dec 8th 2015 Unfortunately the Government did not support this bill and it was thrown out!!!!!
Shows how much disabled peoples’ safety means. Many thanks to our wonderful local MPs who supported this bill.
Tristram Hunt MP was the first to reply
Dear Pam In relation to your last email I can confirm that all LPTs have been issued with the advisory notices as Mr Ellis confirmed at the meeting he attended with you and I have received confirmation that all PCSOs should be using these. In order to progress your email further what I need to know is the name of the officer and the area in which there is still an issue, this will then allow the Commander who has overall responsibility for this process to go to to the Local LPT to understand why there is a gap. I look forward to hearing from you. Regards Veronica Powell Executive Assistant Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner Weston Road Stafford ST18 0YY Tel: 01785 232385 Twitter: @StaffsPCC OPCC Website: www.Staffordshire-pcc.gov.uk