Stoke Theatre Access Forum STAF has been created to work with all interested people and groups to remove barriers and impediments to individuals who wish to access the Regent Theatre.
The project co ordinator is Tim Calvert to get involved contact Tim the Project Co-ordinator at Staf by emailing [email protected]
Acting Chair Simon Taylor [email protected]
Anyone interested in giving their opinion on barriers to your visiting the theatre please contact one of the above as they are very interested in hearing your views.
Tracey Marsden from ASDA accepting the awards for the most disabled friendly national and local supermarket from the lord Mayor of Stoke on Trent Jean Bowers. The Award Ceremony for the STAND awards for the most disabled friendly local and national supermarkets were both won by ASDA. ASDA at Wolstanton won the local award for the superb way the car park was managed and the help and attitude of the staff. Sainsburys in Stoke and Lidl in Longton were also mentioned by STAND members for the managed parking and helpful staff. Our thanks to The Lord Mayor for presenting the awards and to Tracey Marsden for receiving them on behalf of ASDA. Members have voted for their preferred national and local supermarket. The results are in and were announced at the meeting on 17th June 2015. Awards were presented to ASDA supermarket company and also to the ASDA Wolstanton local supermarket. I can tell you that most disabled people prefer a supermarket that takes it’s responsibility to ensure that disabled bays are not abused, seriously. This one issue was mentioned in the vast majority of responses. The local winner has car parking attendants that went out of their way to ensure disabled people could find a suitable place to park even when the disabled bays were full. Store layout, with aisles wide enough s to manoeuvre a wheelchair, offers of help from supermarket staff, freezer doors that can be opened from a wheelchair, and checkouts wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs were also mentioned as important factors in which supermarkets were used and recommended by disabled people. ASDA won the awards in both categories, Sainsburys came second in the National category and Sainsburys at Stoke came third in the local category. Lidl in Longton came second in the local category STAND was asked to undertake a survey of supermarket car parks so that members know which supermarkets are taking our right to be able to access goods and services seriously. The secretary wrote to all the customer services departments of the supermarkets with stores in and around Stoke-on-Trent and their responses are posted below. We have also polled members on their favourite disabled friendly national and local supermarket and asking for comments on good and bad service. We have had several instances of abuse reported. Some supermarket managers’ reluctance to do anything about it, is far from reassuring. In one instance the manager of one supermarket had SOLD parking spaces to people working in the area and then told these people they could use the disabled bays if the others were full!!!!! If you have come across instances of abuse or good practise please let us know. We hope to continue to name the most disabled friendly supermarkets so members know where they can expect the respect they deserve. Sainsbury Supermarket was the first to reply; If you know anything different from what they say, let me know.
Thanks for your email and further comments regarding disabled parking spaces at our stores.
Customer satisfaction is of paramount importance, so we understand how crucial it is that enough suitable parking spaces are made available. To ensure all customers are able to shop with us comfortably, we have in place parking bays reserved for the disabled and for parents with children. You may be aware that whilst some of our car parks are owned by us, others are managed by external organisations. Nevertheless, if any spaces are being misused, the driver will be issued a parking charge notice. We appreciate your feedback and I’ve passed your comments on to the relevant departments. They’ll be able to take this on board when they next review our car parking arrangements. We’ll continue to monitor this situation vigilantly and take into consideration all customer comments we receive about our services. We appreciate you taking the time to get in touch and look forward to seeing you in store soon. Kind regards,Isa McFadyen | Sainsbury’s Careline Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd | 33 Holborn, London | EC1N 2HT [email protected] | 0800 636 262 twitter.com/sainsburys | facebook.com/sainsburys
Jonathon has this less positive news for members.
Pam I work at Tesco at Trentvale and we do not not check the bays at any time.
When I have been in Burslem lately I have been seeing taxis parking in the disable bays in Queens street and out side the New inn pub it is happening every day outside the New inn pub.
Another instance of Tesco’s poor customer service from Janet.
Tesco at Meir Park is very bad, I have complained about it in the past only to be told that it’s just the way of the world. People often park there when they’re using the cash machine.
B&Q at Meir Park are very good and have signs displayed stating that the area is regularly
It’s difficult to park in a disabled bay at the Range, I don’t know if it’s because they’re so busy or if they are being abused.
I contacted Tesco and alerted them to all the negative feedback and experiences and I asked specifically what store managers guidance is when customers complain, this is the reply:
Dear Mrs Bryan
Thank you for your response.
When someone reports to us that a disabled bay is being abused our store’s will be able to do an announcement in the store asking the customer to politely move their car However we rely heavily on everyone to follow the rules.
I am afraid we cannot forcibly remove a customer from the disabled space. I understand this may not be what you want to hear and I completely sympathize with customers who cannot use the disabled spaces as my mother is has a broken back and is wheelchair bound and it frustrates her too.
Thanks again for contacting us and if there is anything else I can do for you, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you could call us on 0800 505555/0330 123 4055, where my colleagues will also be more than happy to assist.
Tesco Customer Service
Asda have people patrolling the car parks, they give warning and fine abusers. Several notices in front of the bays tell people what will happen if they abuse the spaces. The car park attendants at Wolstanton Asda were praised for their fair but firm approach and their ability to direct disabled people to other suitable parking spaces if the disabled spaces were full. Several members have recommended this supermarket for the quality of the people patrolling the car parks ensuring that disabled people can park and access the store. One member commented on the offers of help from staff when she visits this store in her wheelchair. Another commented about being able to get small quantities as he lives alone and cannot use large packs of food. Lidl have a Parking firm to patrol their car parks and they warn people and fine abusers. I have personal experience of the customer care at Longton when the car broke down on their car park. A member of staff rang the RAC for us and even came out to see if we wanted a cup of tea while we were waiting. Real customer service. Read Lidl’s great response by clicking on this link. Lidl Please let me know about your favourite supermarket and why. Your votes will be counted at the end of April. So far Asda is coming out as favourite, with Sainsbury’s a close second. Lidl Longton has been commended as giving great service and considerate help along with Asda at Wolstanton. By far the worst performer is Tesco. Every complaint we have had has been about Tesco’s poor service in stopping the abuse of its’ blue bays and the attitude of store managers when disabled people complain. There is also a problem with disabled members using the car parks at Festival Park. One member said that builders vans blocked all disabled bays when he visited B&Q in the early morning. When I rang the manager the explanation was that the company that owned the Festival Park had discontinued employing “security” staff and as the stores only rented the building, they did not have any control over the parking spaces!!!!!! I must say that the manager of B&Q was very helpful and was as concerned as we are about this abuse. Promises of speaking to the offending drivers were given. Let me know if this has any effect. I contacted our MPs about this matter as I am still getting reports of abuse of blue badge bays on the Festival Park. Tristram Hunt MP has written to the site owner and asked for a response about what they are doing to ensure that the bays are not abused and what their policy is on this matter. He is also looking at the possibility of getting the law strengthened to ensure compliance. ie policing of the bays. I have also contacted the planning dept (via Lez) to ask if compliance can be made a condition of planning permission.
A fantastic result folks!!!! Our new Council has decided NOT to charge disabled people to park on surface car parks. Many thanks to everyone who signed the petition and supported us in this endeavour.
The petition got enough votes for STAND to address a full Council Meeting on this issue. We can only hope that they reconsider. We have had an assurance that STAND will be consulted before these proposals are implemented.
The Council are trying to raise £30 000 per year by charging disabled people to park. Members of STAND are very concerned about this proposal. Please sign our e petition here Epetition The petition went live on Friday 13th March and by Saturday night we had 120 signatures. Please ask everyone you know to sign this petition. We want to ask the council to think again.
April 15th and we now have 260 signatures asking the council to think again and 10 against. Please ask everyone you know to sign the petition as we would like the Council to know the strength of feeling about this issue.
We do not believe that they will raise that amount of money because disabled people will either park on yellow lines or go elsewhere. Few will pay to park so the council will not raise the money, in fact it will cost them as they will have to pay to make the car parks disabled friendly. All the parking meters will have to be accessible and many will have to be re sited. The pay and display method of parking will have to be changed to one that does not force disabled people to walk further than they are able. The no win no fee lawyers are available to take on disability discrimination cases free of charge, so unless all of this work is done prior to charging some one could bring a legal challenge, which again would cost the Council to defend and even more should they lose. Members also believe that the council would be discriminating against disabled people because abled bodied pensioners have their travel cost subsided whereas many disabled people cannot use the buses and so cannot benefit from this subsidy. Disabled people pay their poll tax but cannot access many of the council run services.
Please let us know what you think.
It is apparent from emails received that people with disabilities who work in town centres are going to be severely affected by the Council’s decision. The vast majority of car parks within travelling distance for a blue badge holder are short term, which means that disabled people who can park there now will be prevented from doing so when this measure comes into operation. DISABLED PEOPLE FORCED OUT OF THEIR JOBS or they can put themselves in great pain and distress by attempting to walk further than they can manage. This from a Council that it’s citizens told them to protect vulnerable people.
http://webapps.stoke.gov.uk/uploadedfiles/Budget-proposals_Final-2014-V5.0-compressed-secured.pdf page 12.
STAND have received no reply from their request for a costing on how much it will COST council to make the car parks and method of payment disabled friendly.
Many thanks to the people who filled in the Councils’ consultation forms. These will form the basis of serious discussions about how the issues raise can be resolved.
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