Labour accused of failing disabled residents over a dropped kerb backlog

In County Durham, figures have come to light showing that there are a large number of dropped kerbs still waiting to be completed by Labour controlled Durham County Council. This leaves those with mobility issues unable to get around.

Currently, 200 kerbs that meet the Council’s criteria are waiting to be completed, with only 70 budgeted for every year.

Rachael Seymour, a campaigner on disability issues, said, “As an individual with mobility issues I believe dropped kerbs are essential. Being able to get out and about easily in a wheelchair, crossing kerbs without difficulty makes a huge difference, not only for me but for many other wheelchair users.”

“Having no dropped kerbs mean that manoeuvring across roads is extremely difficult and sometimes impossible without assistance. Going anywhere on my own would simply be pointless. It would prevent me from visiting places like shops and local amenities.”

During Durham County Council’s budget debate on Wednesday 20th February, Cllr Craig Martin and the Lib Dems put forward an amendment that would have cleared the backlog. £190,000 would have been provided to put in place the 200 dropped kerbs, funded by increasing council tax on empty properties.

Lib Dem Cllr Craig Martin said, “Those of us without a disability can easily forget how difficult it can be to get around, leaving individuals trapped in their homes, lonely, and isolated. Not to mention the embarrassment of getting stuck when out, when a simple dropped kerb could solve the problem.”

“No member of our community deserves to be left in this situation. Our Labour-run Council needs to show more compassion to the disabled and deal with this backlog of dropped kerbs.”

Labour rejected the proposal, denying the need to sort this problem out. Craig Martin will continue to campaign against this cruel decision and support those with mobility issues to get help off the Council.