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DISABLED SALFORD MAN BARRED FROM HOUSING MOBILITY SCOOTER
 

Star date: 6th September 2017

MOBILITY SCOOTER RIGHTS AGAIN UNDER SCRUTINY AT SALIX HOMES

"You've got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed..."
 
In what is now becoming a growing problem, a disabled man living in sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes' Heraldic Court says he has to charge his electric mobility scooter at his carer's as he is not allowed to charge or park it where he lives.

Three times a week he has to get a taxi to the carer's house to pick up his scooter so he can use it..."Without it I wouldn't be able to get out" he says "I struggle to walk fifty yards with my sticks."

Full details here...


James Hayes is chronically disabled and can hardly walk, due to a degenerative spinal injury in his lower lumbar... "I struggle to walk fifty or one hundred yards with my sticks" he explains "I have to stop and lean against a lamp post as most of the time I'm unaccompanied."

The only salvation for James is his mobility scooter, which allows him to get out and about and do his shopping in big stores while sitting down. In February it became necessary for him to move into sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes Heraldic Court, off Langley Road South, but was told that he couldn't take the scooter onto the property.

He left it in a yard for six weeks and then confronted Salix... "They said 'You can bring it on the premises but you can't charge it'" James recalls "I can charge it in my flat but that's on the second floor and I can't charge it in the communal area, so I've had to take it to my carer's house."

A Home Safety Guide, issued by Salix Homes last year, brought complaints and accusations of discrimination, with guidelines stating that "Mobility scooters must not be stored in communal areas in blocks and sheltered schemes" and "We do not currently provide charging facilities for mobility scooters..."*

Instead, James has had to charge the scooter at his carer's house, which entails getting a taxi for a double journey three times a week at 6 a time... "It's costing me loads and I haven't got a lot of money" he says "But without it I wouldn't be able to get out...You've got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed without it."

Now James and his advocate, Bill Smid, are further confronting Salix with Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 which states that public bodies have a 'general duty' to 'have due regard to' a list of considerations, such as the need to advance equality of opportunity.

Indeed, James believes that Salix Homes could help its disabled tenants by looking at practical solutions. At Heraldic Court - scene of protests when Salix increased service charges recently** - there are three former bin bunkers which could be used as a mobility scooter parking and charging point... "It wouldn't need much to adapt them, put points in them and upgrade the facilities" he explains "I've put it to them but haven't had a reply."

He does have a meeting with Salix Homes on Friday, where it is hoped that common sense prevails...

"It's disappointing because I need the mobility scooter, I'm lost without it" James explains "It's been a nightmare..."


Salford Star asked Salix Homes for a comment but the email was not even acknowledged and the company has failed to respond.


See previous Salford star articles...

* Salix Homes Mobility Scooter Rules Will Leave Disabled Housebound Say Residents - click here

** Salford Sick and Elderly Protest Against Huge Increase in Salix Homes Charges - click here

Update: 8th September: The Salford Star understands that, following a meeting with Salix Homes today, James has been promised a new ground floor flat, while the company has also agreed to provide seven spaces for mobility scooters - article to follow when this is confirmed


Bill Smid wrote
at 1:30:53 AM on Thursday, September 21, 2017
It seems that the positive out-come could have something to do with my advocacy skills while holding Salix Homes to account. Assisted greatly by the Salford Stars article. Credit were its due Salford.

Adam Parker wrote
at 3:08:37 AM on Monday, September 11, 2017
I've just read the Salford Star update concerning this story. So Salix Homes has put this elderly disabled vulnerable man through hell even though they had a ground floor property to relocate him too. I am a trainee Social Worker and I hope this elderly and vulnerable gentleman is aware that he is entitled to a DFG, Disabilities Funding Grant, which will pay for his relocation to a ground floor property. This is a grant and not a loan so this gentleman need not worry about getting into debt. I would expect a Social Worker to assist this vulnerable and disabled gentleman with the paperwork. I am a Salford Star Virgin, but I am delighted that an online publication has managed to assist one of the vulnerable members of Salford's Community. Shame on Salix Homes for putting this elderly and disabled gentleman through hell for so long. I do hope they will be paying for all of his expenses like his taxi fares. Well done to the Salford Star.

Giving it truth wrote
at 1:58:00 PM on Sunday, September 10, 2017
I've just survived the grenfell tower fire and mobility scooters are the last thing the average cockney worries about at night. Salix is having a laugh. They have used the same inferior cladding that was stuck onto our block but they are worried about a mobility scooter. They do realise it was a fridge freezer that caused our fire and some useless cladding. Is salix going to stop people from having fridge freezers as well. What about washing machines. They have been known to blow up as well. Also laptops, mobile phones, dishwashers and practically anything that runs on electricity. So I suppose salix should now stop anyone from using anything electrical within their flats. They are just taking the mick and picking on the disabled and vulnerable. This salix company should get a life.

Stan Ashworth wrote
at 11:14:01 AM on Sunday, September 10, 2017
I just thought I would write a quick comment concerning this matter, as I am a retired Electrical Design Engineer who used to work for the Newcastle & Gateshead Council. It would seem that one of my old employees has contacted me and requested that I comment about this set of humorous and inaccurate guidelines written by a housing group called Salix Homes. What a load of nonsense. I have research a document concerning the use of Mobility Scooters within high rise tower blocks. http://www.gatesheadhousing.co.uk/mobility-scooter-guidance/ If you have the time or effort, take a good hard look at our policies on Mobility Scooters. I don't see any mention of having to charge Mobility Scooters through daytime hours, nor do I see anywhere that they are a fire risk. In some circumstances we do allow, at no extra cost, some residents to charge their Mobility Scooters in Communal Areas, when there is insufficient space within their own property. I have been left in sheer disbelief that any housing provider would make up such atrocities to inflict unnecessary harassment to an elderly community. I am an retired council worker and I strongly believe that this housing provider should be prosecuted for the unlawful persecution of the elderly community who reside in Salford.

The all seeing eye of Salford wrote
at 11:13:57 AM on Sunday, September 10, 2017
I've just read this news story about a so called housing association called Salix Homes. I feel that once you have read all the inaccurate comments about Mobility Scooters mentioned within the alleged Salix Homes guidelines, you start to realise what a load of complete and utter rubbish these so called guidelines are. For instance if you use the link https://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/fire-safety-purpose-built-04b.pdf, you will soon realise that the only mention of Mobility Scooters along with Push Bikes and Wheelchairs, are only deemed a fire hazard if they are blocking a fire exit. I have read over 200 pages that feature within the official UK government guidence of fire safety within apartment blocks. Salix Homes refers to this document within their guidelines so please tell me where does it state to only charge Mobility Scooters at night? Where does it state that Mobility Scooters are a fire hazard when charging? Where does it state that an old man within Sheltered Accomodation Scheme cannot store and use his Mobility Scooter within the Communal Area? This is quite an easy set of questions to answer. It does not state any of the Salix Homes so called guidelines within a document written and authorised by the UK Government. The Salix Homes Safety Guidelines only covers High Rise Apartment Blocks, so please do tell me how those hideous and completely inaccurate Safety Guidlines apply to a Low Rise Sheltered Scheme? In other words, they don't apply and this poor elderly disabled man has been victimised and in my own opinion, Discriminated against by Salix Homes. I hope you never ever come to the United States. We do not tolerate nasty victimising landlords in our country.

Crip In The Corner wrote
at 11:28:02 AM on Friday, September 8, 2017
Unbelievable!!! Salix yet again ignoring vulnerable people's needs. I have the so called 'guidance' handbook but the information on scooters are totally nonfactual. They say this info was given by profesionals? I'd like to know who as they have acted without factual evidence that a scooter is a 'fire hazard'. If we look at both scooters and electric wheelchairs....there are only a few differences like for example, what they look like on the outside, scooters have one motor rather than 2 on an electric wheelchair and scooters are cheaper to buy then electric wheelchairs. EVERYTHING ELSE LIKE THE ELECTRICS, THE BATTERIES AND THE CHARGERS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME!!! So why discriminate? It seems that Housing associations are becoming more and more discriminating against disabled people. Furthermore, the handbook says that you should charge your scooter in the day time.....HOW THE HELL DO GET OUT THEN? In all Shop Mobility's around the country....you will find that ALL scooters and wheelchairs are charged up over night with the exact chargers that we use. SO WHY HAVE THEY CLASSED THEM AS FIRE HAZARDS? Disgusting!! SHAME ON YOU SALIX HOMES!!!

Stella Higgins wrote
at 2:03:12 PM on Wednesday, September 6, 2017
@Terence Carvell. I work for the Leeds Council and my advice to you would be to seek out a Solicitor, which if you are on a low income, could be funded by Legal Guidance, Legal Assistance or Legal Aid, in order to pursue Salix Homes for Discrimination under Section 149 of the Equality Act. All of the Housing Associations within Leeds have to adhere to our strict Housing Allocation Policy. As a Leeds Council Manager, I would be horrified to hear that one of the Housing Associations, within our city were refusing a Sheltered Scheme, to a disabled adult, based on age or the fact they use a Mobility Scooter to mobilise and to access the local area. How dare an employee from a Housing Provider refuse to allow the use of Mobility Scooters and the charging of them, within their properties. Why has none of the local newspapers not published an article about the diabolical treatment of the disabled, elderly and vulnerable within Salford? The Leeds Council only need to sneeze in the wrong direction and we are front page news. Obviously there is something very wrong with the housing system within Salford. I would like to end by saying that "no Housing Association can change the rules of your tenancy agreement", "without your prior consent". If anyone from Salix Homes tries to stop you from using or charging your disabled vehicle, inform the police immediately as this is an act of abuse, a breach of tenancy and equality rights. Inform your social landlord that Mobility Scooters are certainly not deemed as fire hazards in Leeds and we are yet to see any evidence that states otherwise. Pull your socks up Salford Council. This needs to be investigated as a matter of emergency.

Platformer wrote
at 2:02:27 PM on Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Suggest readers also have a look at the various train operating companies websites before turning up at you local station with your buggy! There does not appear to be an issue about boarding electric WHEELCHAIRS, but some require BUGGY users to have passes, place limits on buggy size, and even require users to dismantle their buggy themselves and load it etc... Discriminatory or what?

Terence carvell wrote
at 10:08:55 AM on Wednesday, September 6, 2017
SALIX HOMES kicked me out of sheltered housing because of my mobility scooter. Last year and i had no say i where i was moved to

Disabled and Unhappy wrote
at 8:03:57 AM on Wednesday, September 6, 2017
I was offered a Salix Homes Sheltered Housing Property many years ago. I was told that my Mobility Scooter could be charged and stored within the Communal Living Area, which was a huge space for the Sheltered Scheme Tenants to meet and socialise. So why the sudden change in rules now? Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, Sections 1a & 3a, reasonable adjustments must be made for those who are disadvantaged by mental and physical disabilities. No Housing Association can take away a service to its disabled tenants without making suitable adjustments to their services. I am aware that two people, three including this person, have taken legal action, but Salix Homes just denies there is no wrong doing on their part. Thank god I do not live in a Salix Homes property. I believe they Salix Homes are a disgrace and their inappropriate treatment of the elderly should be deemed an act of abuse against an elderly disabled tenant.

Ara wrote
at 5:42:37 AM on Wednesday, September 6, 2017
My mum lives in sheltered housing in Nottinghamshire. The local council fitted 'buggy sheds small green metal sheds with electricity meters inside so you can lock up your disability scooter and charge them. You ate assigned a permanent one upon request. It looks up and is safe. Maybe your council could talk to Newark and Sherwood council in Newark for ideas. The residents love them.

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