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Council to consider wheelchair accessible benches and tables in district’s parks

A Torrent councillor has called on Mid Ulster District Council to consider the inclusion of wheelchair accessible benches and tables throughout the district’s parks.

Speaking at a meeting of Council’s development committee, held on Thursday, May 13, Councillor Dan Kerr brought forward his proposal during a discussion of the parks service improvement plan for 2021-22.

The improvement plan sets out a clear path of delivery in relation to services ensuring Council is accountable and that performance and improvement are key elements of service delivery in conjunction with Council’s mission and strategic outcomes as outlined in its corporate plan.

Cllr Kerr said he had no problem with the report but brought forward a proposal requesting officers bring a further report back to Council evaluating the possibility of adding accessible park and picnic benches to Council’s portfolio of amenities at these sites.

“I have no problem with the report but I would just like to propose that a report is brought back for Council to consider the installation of disabled friendly park and picnic benches,” said Cllr Kerr.

“Recently a local authority in Germany introduced 40 of these innovative yet simplistic pieces of public furniture across its city and it is something we should be replicating.

“It would improve access for wheelchair and disabled users within our Council district so I would like officers to bring a report back to the committee on how we could implement this proposal in Mid Ulster.”

This proposal was seconded by Councillor Niamh Doris who described it as a “good suggestion” and called for the furniture to also be considered as an option for Coalisland.

“I am happy to second this proposal,” said Cllr Doris. “Access for people with disabilities is really important to me. There has been some really good work done on the park equipment but the addition of accessible picnic benches could be a really good thing.

“Could I also ask that when we are looking into furniture for our Coalisland public realm scheme can we consider these pieces of furniture.

“There has been a lot of work done in the town to make it wheelchair accessible and this is a good suggestion so I am happy to second the proposal.”

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