Concerns access officers will lose their jobs in Sheffield

Disability campaigners raised concerns about the potential loss of officers that champion accessibility after Sheffield Council fell out with its planning department over a restructure.

Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 1:02 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 4:57 pm
Photo by Philip Toscano/PA Wire

Three people spoke out about the issue during a full council meeting, saying the officers have a vital role in protecting independence.

Andrew Crookes, of Disabled Sheffield, said: “It’s important that we say we do realise the decimation of funds and pressure the council has been put under over the past few years.

“We are really concerned that we may lose the positions of access officers.

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“Would the cabinet agree that well built building and landscapes at the design stage facilitate better use by all people irrespective of age and disability?

“The expertise and knowledge of people in this field is invaluable. We see access officers as something that is vital to protect independence in the community.”

Councillor Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport and development, said: “Unfortunately we are still in a collective dispute with the planning service following the restructure so it would be really difficult and probably ill-advised for me to comment publicly until such time as that dispute has been resolved.

“I did ask my secretary yesterday to get licensing and planning to write out to you. I will meet with you as soon as that dispute has been resolved and we can talk about this more meaningfully.”