Anger over new register office

NILALM110914A1 - Cllr Frank Phillips and Ilkeston chamber of trade president David Thorpe
NILALM110914A1 - Cllr Frank Phillips and Ilkeston chamber of trade president David Thorpe
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An Ilkeston councillor has spoken of his outrage, claiming the register office move has made wheelchair access “extremely difficult”.

Ilkeston Register Office has relocated from its base in Lord Haddon Road into Ilkeston Town Hall because the old building would have cost too much to repair.

Ilkeston central ward councillor and Erewash Labour group secretary, Frank Phillips, is angry that there is no wheelchair access to one of the ceremony rooms.

He told the Advertiser: “There are three steps from the outside and two internal steps to negotiate.

“How on earth is anyone in a wheelchair or mobility scooter supposed to access it?”

The councillor claims he was met with hostility when he raised the matter a few weeks ago.

He said: “I was gobsmacked when I was told: “this has nothing to do with you.”

The issue is close to Cllr Phillips’ heart, after his wife had a stroke and spent two years in a wheelchair.

“I remember the nightmare of having to access shops and her being made to feel like a second class citizen,” he said.

He claimed: “To have 
people use seperate doors is discrimination in itself.”

But Derbyshire County Council has said that disabled access to the building will not be a problem.

Cabinet member for council services, Brian Ridgway, said: “We take access very seriously and have already improved the entry to the first floor suite by installing wider, automatic doors.

“We’ve also planned to put a ramp in place.”

Erewash Borough Council’s deputy leader, Carol Hart, said there is some disabled
access through the front door and also disabled access to the Mayor’s Parlour.

She said: “It is a fitting venue and we look forward to many couples booking their weddings.”