Town Council agrees to fund new AccessAble website and new look Accessibility Guides for Buckingham

Town Council agrees to fund new AccessAble website and new look Accessibility Guides for Buckingham!


Three years ago, Buckingham Town Council paid DisabledGo to carry out and publish detailed accessibility surveys of 65 venues in Buckingham. The Town Council have commissioned the renamed AccessAble to update the surveys each year and to add 5 more each year. In addition, Buckingham’s Access Awareness Group will continue to support the scheme. Volunteers will be trained to carry out and submit additional surveys at a workshop to be arranged in 2019.
AccessAble, previously called DisabledGo, have been working for over a year to develop and launch the new website and App, involving its user community every step of the way.
Councillor Mike Smith, Chair of the Town Council’s Resources Committee, said, “I’m delighted that the Town Council are continuing to support AccessAble.  We are committed to supporting venues across the town that are accessible to everyone, and to promoting the continuing good work to achieve this.”
The website has been completely rebuilt, the search is faster and easier to use and there is inspirational content so you can find new places to explore. The Accessibility Guides themselves are simpler to use and more clearly laid out. If you are after the detail you can navigate to it easily through a side menu or if you would prefer just the key information and photos you can use an ‘easy read’ toggle. The whole website looks totally different with many more photos, videos and icons.
A major part of the development has been working with users of screen readers and assistive technology to make sure the website and App meet the broadest range of accessibility requirements possible.
Another AccessAble development is new Accessibility Symbols. They have increased the number used from 19 to 32, which will enable anyone using the website or App to filter their results by the access requirements that are important to them. This includes symbols that may be helpful for people with autism, visual impairments and learning disabilities. The symbols can also be used to filter by facilities like Changing Places, accessible toilets, Safe Places, hoists and accessible fitting rooms.
Speaking about the development, AccessAble’s  Executive Director, Anna Nelson said, ‘AccessAble exists to provide detailed information to venues throughout the UK and Ireland, so that disabled people, carers and anyone who needs to know more about accessibility can find out if a place will be right for them.
We are passionate about delivering our social mission and helping more of the c.20m people who have accessibility requirements. As part of the launch AccessAble have published an important survey that highlights the vital need for better accessibility information. The survey revealed that 99% of disabled people want to know about accessibility before visiting a new place and 98% search for accessibility information in advance.  You can read more about it and check out the survey here https://www.accessable.co.uk/articles/new-survey-highlights-major-accessibility-gap-for-uk-s-20-million-disabled-people-and-carers
To check out the new service simply visit the website at www.AccessAble.co.uk or download the AccessAble App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. If you have any feedback you can contact AccessAble at  hello@AccessAble.co.uk, message them on social media or give AccessAble a call on 01438 842710.

Buckingham Town Council to seek legal advice over Crown Care Home

 
Town Council Seeks Legal Advice as to whether to launch a Judicial Review of AVDC’s decision to approve an application to build a Crown Care Home on land behind the Grand Junction Public House.
Buckingham Town Council held an Extraordinary Meeting last night (Thursday 9 November 2018) to decide whether to spend Council funds on seeking an expert legal opinion as to whether the Town Council should instigate a Judicial Review in the High Court of a recent planning decision by AVDC. The Town Council has six weeks from the date the decision was made – Friday 26 October – to decide whether to launch an appeal. Once the Council has obtained legal advice, it will decide whether to proceed at its meeting to be held on Monday 19 November 2018.
The Town Council is looking to take this action to protect the town’s Neighbourhood Plan, which was made in October 2015, at a cost of £80,000 and thousands of man-hours, and backed by 91.45% of those voting in the referendum.
Deputy Mayor and Chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor Mark Cole said:
“What members are being asked to do tonight is to defend not only the current Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan, but also our future Neighbourhood Plans. We believe that errors in law have been made by AVDC Planning officers in their advice to the Strategic Development Management Committee to approve the application to build a Crown Care Home on land behind the Grand Junction Public House… Buckingham Town Council has strongly opposed this application from the start… This Council also maintains that this application contravenes National Planning Policy Framework policies regarding developments – and particularly those for vulnerable people – in floodplains, and AVDC’s interpretation of them… The cost – which… could be up to £3000 – would be money well spent to protect our current Neighbourhood Plan, and an investment in those of the future.”