Town, County Spat Over Meeting Room Access
(Alternate title: "Stop Your Bickering -- Fix The Room")
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 11, 2004
PRESTATYN, WALES--The Prestatyn Town Council is considering legal action after being told to move their meetings because the current debating chamber is not accessible to people with disabilities.
Two weeks ago, the Denbighshire County Council, which owns the historic building where the town council meets, told councilors that they would not be able to use the premises after elements of the national Disability Discrimination Act goes into effect this coming October. County officials raised concerns that it might be difficult to evacuate people with disabilities if case of emergency.
Prestatyn councilors last week accused the county of using the DDA to further its own needs. Some said they believe that the county could modify the current building to make it more accessible, and described the county's decision to move the meeting place as "underhanded".
"The letter to the clerk from Denbighshire refers to the 'former' chamber as though the decision has already been made," said Coun Gwynn Clague.
According to a brief story in the Daily Post, town councilors said they may perform their own risk assessment on the building and decide whether a legal challenge is in order.