In a follow up to two articles previously published on Disability United, Accessible Toilet at Risk of Being Flushed Away in Council Cutbacks & Council Silent on At Risk Changing Places Unit with regards to a Changing Place situated within a funding-threatened local authority play facility, we have now been provided with a response from a council officer.
Assistant Head of Service-Early Intervention, Targeted Support & Integrated Youth Support at Kirklees Council, Mr Nigel Addy answered my questions:
Q. Firstly, are you able to provide a statement on the future of the flagship Changing Places provision within Crow Nest Park Adventure Playground?
A. The council has no current plans to close the Changing Places Provision within Crow’s Nest Park.
Q. Secondly, What Impact Assessment has been undertaken with regards to the proposed loss of the Changing Places unit should KMC [Kirklees Metropolitan Council] determine to remove funding from the Playground as a whole?
A. No specific impact assessment has been undertaken on the closure of the Changing Places unit as there are no plans to close the Changing Places unit. Any proposals for the future of the park currently being considered include the retention of access to the Changing Place. Only if this were to change then an impact assessment would be carried out then.
Q. Thirdly, what alternative provision do you intend to, make for children and families, and should the Changing Places unit no longer be available? How does KMC plan to keep the park accessible to even those with the most complex of needs under the council’s duty to promote inclusive access to local services?
A. The council takes its duties to promote and support inclusive provision very seriously, and is stated in the response above. All current proposals for the future of the park include the retention of access to the Changing Place. The council is keen to work with members of the community to ensure this is achieved. Local communities will be key to delivery of a wide range of services and activities in the future and it will be critical that the council supports them to recognise their duties and obligations to equal opportunity and access for all.
We thank Mr Addy for his responses.
By Sam Heaton