EU Referendum: '˜No access for wheelchair users' at Sheffield polling station

Wheelchair users are having difficulties casting their vote at one Sheffield polling station due to a broken lift.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 23rd June 2016, 4:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 3:42 pm
Stocksbridge Library - Picture Google
Stocksbridge Library - Picture Google

Graham Elliot, aged 73, of Manchester Road, Stocksbridge, told The Star disabled voters couldn’t cast their votes in the town’s library.

The 73-year-old made his way down to Stocksbridge Library near his home on Manchester Road where polling booths were situated on the first floor.

After casting his vote around 11am, Mr Elliot said he noticed a sign for the broken lift.

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He said: “It’s a total embarrassment on a day where we make one of the biggest decisions people potentially couldn’t vote when I turned up this morning.

“I asked staff what I would do if I was in a wheelchair - they looked embarrassed and said they had alerted the problem to Sheffield Council. They told me it would be more effective if I complained.”

But when Mr Elliot contacted the council, staff claimed they were unaware of the problem but hoped to fix the problem as quickly as possible.

“I was surprised they were using the upstairs of the library, it makes no sense whatsoever and it’s typical a broken lift happens on the day of an important vote,” Mr Elliot added.

“People have every right to vote and there shouldn’t be this obstacle in their way.”

The Star understands polling staff have had to put in place alternative

James Henderson, Deputy Local Counting Officer for Sheffield City Council said: “We were aware of the broken lift at Stocksbridge Library polling station but there were no suitable alternative buildings in the area. The library was therefore still the best option for local voters.

“Staff at the polling station have taken extra care to look out for people who need assistance and provide the appropriate support to ensure everyone is able to vote.”