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to worry that the Grenfell Tower fire is now being used as an excuse to bully disabled tenants.

(122 Posts)
HelenaDove Fri 24-Nov-17 15:57:06

Saw this article about tough new rules for people living in flats who use mobility scooters.

I wonder if the large shopping centres who charge scooters overnight will be subject to the same rules.

Sirzy Fri 24-Nov-17 16:00:07

More worrying is why so many people who rely on mobility scooters are still living in high rise flats sad I know some it will be because that is where they are happy and want to stay but for a lot it is indicative of the major problem with housing for disabled people being very inappropriate

DoesHeWantToOrNot Fri 24-Nov-17 16:02:04

I live in high rise flats and there are a lot of older people here with scooters, summer frames etc.

The lifts went off one day and some of them were stranded. I couldn't get out with dd either. I had to bump her buggy down 10 flights of stairs eventually as I had to get her milk.

HelenaDove Fri 24-Nov-17 16:04:51

HelenaDove Fri 24-Nov-17 00:52:36
HelenaDove Thu 23-Nov-17 23:11:22

Star date: 6th September 2017


"You've got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed..."

In what is now becoming a growing problem, a disabled man living in sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes' Heraldic Court says he has to charge his electric mobility scooter at his carer's as he is not allowed to charge or park it where he lives.

Three times a week he has to get a taxi to the carer's house to pick up his scooter so he can use it..."Without it I wouldn't be able to get out" he says "I struggle to walk fifty yards with my sticks."
Add message | Report | Message poster HelenaDove Thu 23-Nov-17 23:12:04
"James Hayes is chronically disabled and can hardly walk, due to a degenerative spinal injury in his lower lumbar... "I struggle to walk fifty or one hundred yards with my sticks" he explains "I have to stop and lean against a lamp post as most of the time I'm unaccompanied."

The only salvation for James is his mobility scooter, which allows him to get out and about and do his shopping in big stores while sitting down. In February it became necessary for him to move into sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes Heraldic Court, off Langley Road South, but was told that he couldn't take the scooter onto the property.

He left it in a yard for six weeks and then confronted Salix... "They said 'You can bring it on the premises but you can't charge it'" James recalls "I can charge it in my flat but that's on the second floor and I can't charge it in the communal area, so I've had to take it to my carer's house."

A Home Safety Guide, issued by Salix Homes last year, brought complaints and accusations of discrimination, with guidelines stating that "Mobility scooters must not be stored in communal areas in blocks and sheltered schemes" and "We do not currently provide charging facilities for mobility scooters..."*

Instead, James has had to charge the scooter at his carer's house, which entails getting a taxi for a double journey three times a week at £6 a time... "It's costing me loads and I haven't got a lot of money" he says "But without it I wouldn't be able to get out...You've got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed without it."

Now James and his advocate, Bill Smid, are further confronting Salix with Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 which states that public bodies have a 'general duty' to 'have due regard to' a list of considerations, such as the need to advance equality of opportunity.

Indeed, James believes that Salix Homes could help its disabled tenants by looking at practical solutions. At Heraldic Court - scene of protests when Salix increased service charges recently** - there are three former bin bunkers which could be used as a mobility scooter parking and charging point... "It wouldn't need much to adapt them, put points in them and upgrade the facilities" he explains "I've put it to them but haven't had a reply."

He does have a meeting with Salix Homes on Friday, where it is hoped that common sense prevails...

"It's disappointing because I need the mobility scooter, I'm lost without it" James explains "It's been a nightmare.. "

LurkingHusband Fri 24-Nov-17 16:10:30

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SusannahL Fri 24-Nov-17 16:15:17

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

HelenaDove Fri 24-Nov-17 16:19:45

Tahir Chakotai (Independent Housing Advocate) wrote
at 1:07:07 AM on Wednesday, November 30, 2016
"P.s. Shopmobility within the Manchester Arndale Centre, charge their Mobility Scooters, when the shop is shut, so they are charged for the next morning. If they are a fire risk, and need to be kept an eye on when charging, why does the Manchester Arndale allow such a fire risk to occur 360 Days of the year. The answer is, there are so many electrical safeguards against the overcharging of a Lead Acid / Gel Battery, that a "Modern Mobility Scooter" is no longer deemed a fire risk"

LurkingHusband Fri 24-Nov-17 16:22:39

This is an attempt to keep people safe post Grenfell, and now they are being accused of 'bullying' the disabled.

A better way might be to provide suitable accommodation in the first instance ?

HelenaDove Fri 24-Nov-17 16:32:06

SoulStew Fri 24-Nov-17 16:35:32

People don’t sleep in shopping malls. And, the right to not be burned alive trumps everything imo.

HelenaDove Fri 24-Nov-17 16:39:35

Soul do you really think House of Fraser Debenhams Marks and Spencer Waterstones etc etc etc would be happy to risk all their stock if this was really a possibility.

SoulStew Fri 24-Nov-17 16:40:11

They are insured.

RunningOutOfCharge Fri 24-Nov-17 16:41:31

no they can't win

mobility scooters are used for longer distances,doesnt mean the users can't live upstairs. maybe a designated storage/charging area would be better

Angelalley Fri 24-Nov-17 16:41:47

i wonder if they are going to make all tenants have all their white goods and electric items checked too. and what about powered wheelchairs, will they ban them?
disabled people should not be in hi rise anyway(unless first floor)

honeysucklejasmine Fri 24-Nov-17 16:45:20

Lordy, if the Arndale center's insurance covers the building and contents for every single shop because they are charging these "dangerous" scooters, their premiums must be huge.

Or, maybe they aren't any more dangerous than any electrical appliance commonly left on.

RunningOutOfCharge Fri 24-Nov-17 16:48:37

the article said the scooters which travel on they are a vehicle

and shopping centres will have a sprinkler system

LurkingHusband Fri 24-Nov-17 16:48:59

mobility scooters are used for longer distances,doesnt mean the users can't live upstairs

except you need a lift. No lift. No go.

I marvel at the distinctly un-mobility friendly modern practice of having shops on a non-level floor so that you have to use lifts or stairs to access them.

If you use a wheelchair, then you have to use a lift to get from the car park at the new QE hospital to the hospital itself. No other way. At all. (See also: Sainsburys, Tescos, Morrisons, Asda).

RunningOutOfCharge Fri 24-Nov-17 16:52:09

no. not necessarily

my ex h has a scooter....for longer distances. he's fine to get around and up and down stairs. its just the distances that he can't manage

Judashascomeintosomemoney Fri 24-Nov-17 17:08:39

Sorry but I think is so arse about face. As other PPs have said, why are disabled people living in accommodation from which they cannot easily escape in the event of a fire in the first place? This is so the modern way, there’s a safety issue with charging/using mobility devices in high rise/multi storey homes so guess what we’ll ban them. Job done. But what about the people who rely on them that live there? Errm, who, what, now? I’m assuming Care Homes have to have very stringent and proven fire evacuation measures in place for their disabled residents that probably includes not having people who rely on mobility devices living above a certain floor. I’m also assuming they are strictly checked by Fire Officers on a regular basis. So why not the same for privately owned and rented properties?

LurkingHusband Fri 24-Nov-17 17:09:38

As other PPs have said, why are disabled people living in accommodation from which they cannot easily escape in the event of a fire in the first place?

Out of sight, out of mind ?

ArcheryAnnie Fri 24-Nov-17 17:13:53

The Scunthorpe story in the OP says that there will be storage and charging facilities on the ground floor of the block, but that the scooter won't be allowed in the lifts.

So they can store and charge them close by, just not in their own flats. It might actually be better and safer, as the charging stations will be suitable, not overloaded, and hopefully less likely to do things like overheat.

LurkingHusband Fri 24-Nov-17 17:24:31

It might actually be better and safer, as the charging stations will be suitable, not overloaded, and hopefully less likely to do things like overheat.

Is that a thing at all ? I've not heard of mobility scooter chargers bursting into flames.

I have heard of laptops, tablet computers and mobile phones bursting into flames. Presumably they are banned too hmm ?

HelenaDove Fri 24-Nov-17 17:28:28

And electronic cigarettes.

ArcheryAnnie Fri 24-Nov-17 17:30:28

Lurking, I'm not the person who banned anything. I was just suggesting a possible positive aspect to this.

Most flats don't have enough electrical outlets anyway, as they were built and wired when we didn't have umpteen phones, laptops, tablets to charge, three different plugs for the TV etc etc. Many people including me almost certainly overload the electrical outlets they do have. It's not necessarily a bad thing if one major thing to charge can be safely charged elsewhere.

Akire Fri 24-Nov-17 17:38:02

It dosnt say what the risk is??? Never heard of any bursting into flames on a regular basis? I have two electric wheelchair so that’s 4 big batteries potential in charge same time. Glenfell was started by a fridge the council isn’t banning fridges !

I’m no on ground floor and despite asking since Glenfell my Ha have produced a fire safety leaflet or able boded tennants- don’t use lift- evacuate ye great. What do the rest of us do? The only amazing advice under disabled and elderly was to “take care” well that’s me sorted then!

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