It’s now being three months since I wrote to the Minister for Disabled People, Mike Penning, about my campaign for better access in Great Barr. I had hoped that he would clarify who was responsible for enforcing the Equality Act 2010 and help me to push the campaign forward.
However, despite being told on the 13th March that I would receive a reply within a week, I still haven’t had a response. My latest correspondence from Mr. Penning’s office informed me that my case had been forwarded to the Department for Communities and Local Government on 10th February and yet nobody bothered to inform me of this. I should not have to continually chase for a response and it is clear to me that Mr. Penning cares no more than Sandwell Council.
I feel like I am being passed from pillar to post and banging my head against brick walls. Sandwell Council were quoted in the local newspaper as saying that they would write to local businesses about their responsibilities but I have not being informed that this has happened. It appears that we have equality legislation in place but nobody really cares about whether or not it is enforced. Twenty years on from the Disability Discrimination Act, the needs of disabled people are being totally ignored and it’s a disgrace.
As frustrated as I am, I will not let this go and will be writing to David Cameron to highlight the failures of the Equality Act and ask for his support. Some may say that as one disabled person, I am fighting a losing battle but disabled access is an issue across the country and I will not give up until the rights of disabled people are taken seriously.