Access to Scottish councils a ‘disgrace’

Nearly two-thirds of council buildings in Scotland are inaccessible to disabled people, according to the latest performance indicators.

Gordon MacRae, campaigns officer at disability charity Leonard Cheshire, called councils’ performance “unsurprising but a disgrace”.

Audit Scotland found only 37.4 per cent of council buildings used for delivering services met the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Dumfries and Galloway (1.5 per cent of buildings compliant), Highland (3.4 per cent) and North Lanarkshire (4.7 per cent) were the worst performers, while South Lanarkshire (79.2 per cent), Scottish Borders (75.2 per cent) and Dundee (74.7 per cent) were the best.

MacRae said: “Councils should be a beacon of accessibility but that is not the case. This is not just about physical access but inclusion more generally: businesses look to councils to see what they should be doing.”

The performance indicators for 2004-5 also showed that special educational need assessments and background reports requested by children’s reporters were carried out more quickly, although the length of time between homelessness presentations and assessments being completed rose by nearly one-third, from 2003-4 to 2004-5.


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