PENARTH PENSIONERS ARE REFUSED A CENTRAL SAFETY-HANDRAIL ON PARK ROAD STEPS

The Park Road Steps are a steep climb for older folk - but they're call to install a central safety handrail has been rejected by the Vale Council - even if the pensioners pay for it themselves

The Park Road Steps are a steep climb for older folk – but their call to install a central safety handrail has been rejected by the Vale Council – even if the pensioners pay for it themselves

Elderly and infirm Penarth residents have been told that they can NOT  have a central safety handrail installed on the treacherous Park Road Steps – even if they pay for it themselves.

The pensioners wanted a central handrail installed on the dangerous steps so they could steady themselves when using the route – particularly in frosty and icy weather.

When climbing or descending the steep Park Road Steps pensioners have nothing to hold onto - except brambles

When climbing or descending the steep Park Road Steps pensioners have nothing to hold onto – except brambles

However the pensioner’s pleas – and their offer to pay for the scheme out of their own pockets – have been dismissed by the Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council and its “Community Safety” ‘cabinet’ member  Cllr Bronwen Brooks (Labour Court Ward Barry).

Cllr Maureen Kelly-Owen (Conservative Plymouth Ward )

Cllr Maureen Kelly-Owen (Conservative Plymouth Ward )

The issue arose in full council after local Cllr Maureen Kelly Owen (Conservative Plymouth Ward) had written to the so-called “Older Person’s Champion” on the Vale Council, Cllr Stuart Egan asking that at the start of the icy season “handrails are installed as a matter of urgency where they are desperately needed and before someone is injured or worse .”

Cllr Egan passed the hot-potato to Cllr Brooks to deal with.

Cllr Brooks had begun her answer by petulantly criticising some of the 47 members of the council for chatting with colleagues whilst she was attempting to speak.  She said “There are about six meetings going on in this room [the Vale council chamber] – where people are trying to speak. It’s actually quite disconcerting when you are stood up here  ”

Cllr Bronwen Brooks took her fellow councillors to tsk for talking whilst she was on her feet - and then told Penarth pensioners the council wasn't going to budge on their demands

Cllr Bronwen Brooks took her fellow councillors to task for talking whilst she was on her feet – and then told Penarth pensioners that the Vale Council wasn’t going to budge on their demands

Cllr Brooks claimed that the whole area of Windsor Gardens and Alexandra Park “is accessible by all members of the community ….although it is recognised that its hillside setting can make certain parts of the park ‘challenging’ to elderly visitors

She said she was aware that elderly residents had been “campaigning for a hand rail to be installed on the Park Road steps and had even taken their concerns to the local Government Ombudsman and the Vale Council’s “Equality Officer”  .

She said residents had been wrong to claim that the council had been in breach of the law by refusing to install a handrail at this location. She was confident the council was in the right.

Cllr Brooks then – in effect – proceeded to tell Penarth residents that if they couldn’t manage the Park Road Steps,  then they were other alternative routes they could use. Cllr Brooks alsop pointed out that there was “no requirement for the council to provide handrails”.

The nearby "Dolly Steps" are equipped with a proper central handrail. There is no such handrail on the steeper Park Road steps - and the Vale Council won't install one.

The nearby “Dolly Steps” are equipped with a proper central handrail. There is no such handrail on the steeper Park Road steps – and the Vale Council has now confirmed it will not install one.

When local residents said they’d pay for the handrails themselves, council officers then insisted that they would not be allowed to have a central handrail installed . Cllr Brooks argued thatIt is more appropriate to have the handrail down one side of the steps” [PDN Note: In fact, there is a precedent – for a central handrail – down the Dolly Steps].

Cllr Brooks claimed that the council was ready to help the pensioners but said  “We must insist on its  position [i.e.  to one side and not central] as we are left with all liabilities after its construction”.

Cllr Bronwen Brooks had a final uncompromising message for the frail pensioners who had been prepared to pay for the work to be done out of their own pockets: –

Regrettably” – she said- ” if they insist on the central location for the handrail, the work will not take place”.

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21 Responses to PENARTH PENSIONERS ARE REFUSED A CENTRAL SAFETY-HANDRAIL ON PARK ROAD STEPS

  1. Chris David says:

    Bullying know it all’s. What’s the problem?

    • Melvin says:

      I wonder if it’s because it leads to them there big ‘ouses and the Labour lot can’t stand the idea of that.

    • sep says:

      Would a rail off to one side be against the wall (which is a foot away from the steps – that’s nice & safe – not) or would it be running up through the brambles and bushes on the other side?

    • RosyB says:

      It’s not just Penarth pensioners – I am fit and well, and I wouldn’t go down the steps without having something to cling on to. Isn’t it the law that handrails should be provided, especially on that a dangerous drop.

  2. Frank Evans says:

    We demand a funicular railway.

  3. whatsoccurin says:

    So many problems, so little time before the Elections-Alexandra Park is lethal in icy weather, the paving stones in Rectory Road are a disgrace, and our summer discussion about the kiosks on the Pier pointed out that the Pier Pavilion cafe had only a “3 star” hygiene rating-that notice disappeared some weeks ago-I think many Councils take action against this “selective” showing of the ratings but the Vale Council will do nothing as The Pier is a Charity.

  4. Anne Greagsby says:

    This is no joke for elderly people. The labour party claim to care about elderly and disabled people but then pour scorn on a reasonable request for a hand rail. They are required by law to make reasonable adjustments.

    • Bobby says:

      Are they really required to provide one by law because Cllr Brooks claims that they are not? Do you know which law would apply in this case? There is clear guidance in the Building Regulations (Part M Vol 2) that steps on approaches to buildings should have a handrail but I’m not sure if that would also apply to public steps to a park as in this case.

  5. What these Barry people don’t seem to understand is that some need the rail on one particular side so in the centre is the rightful place.

  6. Who is this idiot Brookes ? she is working for the people, she is a public servant and should know her place and get back in her box, (another Council big head ripe for removal). When £100,000 can be wasted , I repeat wasted on a stupid , idea forced on the public such as the now useless viewing platform , (and the people responsible are still in their places!!??) remember them next May, if they can waste money like that what is the problem of putting a handrail on these steps?. As for this stupid female insisting any rail would be placed only on one side of the steps , can she please explain how people walking up the steps using the rail can pass people coming down using the rail, quite obviously her imagination cannot reach those dizzy heights . And how petty , sounded like a spoilt brat , the steps should be in the middle to cater for both up or down pedestrians using the rail at the same time, of course that’s a leap too far for her to envisage. Where on Earth do we get such people? and what sort of people vote in these jumped up individuals who waste or misuse public funds?. God knows what their CVs are like probably done in crayon ??.

  7. CelticMan says:

    Other central rails exist such as by the side of the Yacht Club up to Marine Parade. The precedent has most certainly been set.

  8. Harry says:

    Maybe the money could have been used from the daft backless concrete seat fiasco – it could only happen in Penarth waste £1000 on a seat with no back. – just out of interest does anyone know how much the normal standard seats with backs cost?
    On the subject of the railings, I suppose we should have no preconceptions that anything helpful could be done by the VOG for us in Penarth, common sense doesn’t prevail from Barry in our direction, very sadly

  9. Big Davey says:

    Just tell Liz Burnett you want a skateboard rail at waste height and I am sure she will find the funds and get it expressed through.

  10. Grey local! says:

    Better a handrail here than a concrete unusable bench outside a bank! These people are not representing the public at all

  11. Chris David says:

    Yes £250,000+ spent on a make over got the ego driven bogus cabinet room, £800+ each on chairs to the keep cabinet bums on seats and they wont provide a safety rail and argue about whether its in the centre of side of a path. Even worse they wont allow to even if the public pay for it. PDN please compile a list of these 2016 stupid and bullying decisions with the names against them prior to the elections.”She said residents had been wrong to claim that the council had been in breach of the law by refusing to install a handrail at this location. She was confident the council was in the right”. In the right!!? This sums up these soulless fools. Hmm, where are the usual hand wringing sycophants on this one?

  12. wendy murphy says:

    On the handrail subject we have steps down to our houses in andrew road (thats the road leading up under the bridge from cogan leisure ) there is one set of steps where elderly have fallen and been taken to hospital and still after many phone calls and a site visit the council refuse to put a handrail although other steps along the road have had them fitted what is going on with the council? They could also address the street lights or lack off as well no lights after midnight and steps to go down in the dark madness

  13. Tim Hughes says:

    When a new piece of infrastructure is provided like the zig zag up from the marina then there are design guidelines that need to be followed, these provide maximum design gradients, widths etc. to be used by the designer. Thus new paths often appear very shallow and contorted. When an existing piece of infrastructure does not meet current guidelines that is not generally a problem and it can be allowed to remain insitu until it requires updating for some other reason. For a road that is too narrow, too windy etc. that can create a problen; often the public call for something to be done about it but do not want a widened straightened road pinching the front gardens of the roadside properties, they just want a little improvement. This is difficult for the designer as new build has to meet current standards. The same applies for example when house wiring building regulations are updated, we do not all go out and get our houses rewired but if new work is required it must be undertaken to meet the new current standards. I am not familiar with footpath part of highways design but it may be similar. A new handrail, whoever pays for it to be put in, may not be sufficient to bring the path up to current standards. Just a thought.

  14. Chris David says:

    Sorry Mr Hughes its not “just a thought” Its another solution-less, meaningless meandering through the mind-set of the clerk that has little or no bearing on the situation or problem. Put a ruddy handrail in. Put it in the centre and get off the jobsworth high horse VoG.

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