Rachel is first disability champ for Fleetwood council

Coun Rachel George - first hand experience of challenges facing disabled people
Coun Rachel George - first hand experience of challenges facing disabled people
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A disability champion has been appointed for the first time by Fleetwood Town Council.

The role has been taken up by Pharos ward representative, Coun Rachel George, who has experienced first hand some of the problems faced by disabled people.

Coun George has multiple sclerosis and often needs to use a wheelchair when the condition’s symptoms affect her particularly badly.

The councillor initiated the new role herself and hoped it can make some different to residents in the town.

She said: “Fleetwood has a fair number of disabled people, not just wheelchairs users but people who suffer from mental disabilities and other problems.

“I believe the role can help in a positive way.”

One of the projects Coun George hopes to move forward is to increase the number of dropped curved across the town.

She said: “Of course it won’t be possible to put ramped pavements on every street because there just isn’t the money for that at Lancashire County Council.

“But if we are to bring a few more, at strategic places across the town, it could make a real difference.

“A few days ago, when I was in my wheelchair, I had to take a longer route home because the pavements leading to my street on Hesketh Place did not have dropped kerbs.

“It is only when you are disabled that you notice things like that.”

Coun George is also looking to progress a long-running project to bring beach wheelchairs to Fleetwood, to enable disabled family members to access the beach with other members of their families.

In her role as Disability Champion, Coun George will also attend meetings and liaise with disability groups within the town so they have an up-to-date knowledge base of where people can be signposted to, and in what circumstance.

She added: “Fleetwood Town Council feels it is important to demonstrate that it is inclusive, and that as councillors we care about disability issues.”