The response to my campaign to make Great Barr great for disabled people was very disappointing. Just one of the retailers responded and that was only to inform me that they would refer the matter to their head office. I even had to chase up local MP, Tom Watson, for his response and I was asked by his office how I would like him to assist the campaign. I couldn’t help but think that if he had read the report, including its recommendations, it would have been clear how he could assist – simply by ensuring the Equality Act 2010 was adhered to in his constituency
A few months later, I received a letter from Mr Watson stating that he had contacted Sandwell Council to get a response. Although I am disappointed that as yet, 6 months later they have failed to even acknowledge the report, I was slightly encouraged by their response to Mr Watson:
“…we are still considering (the reports) contents and how we may be able to support her campaign as the report submitted refers to a range of issues and therefore comments are required from a number of service areas.”
It should not take 6 months to review and respond to a 14 page report but when I began this campaign, I always knew that change wouldn’t happen over night. I plan to keep the pressure on Mr Watson and the Council as change must happen. I will also be sending a polite reminder to the retailers about their obligation to comply with the Equality Act 2010.