Access to disabled facilities

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Access to disabled facilities

Postby Bill Shankly » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:37 pm

I am sharing this e mail with the real supporters of FGR. the management team DO NOT WANT anyone the elite levell not even to use the disabled toilet or the lift to access the seats and not even shareholders who bailed the club out pre Mr Vince.

Please see the note I have received from Dane Vince



"Thanks for the recent discussion on this and for sending over the email: very useful indeed.

I have discussed this with Henry and the current decision is that access to the 1st floor will remain exclusively for hospitality guests. So only those with the new Access Passes will be able to go through reception (inc the lift) and use the 1st floor toilets.

We are exploring the handrail idea that we spoke about, and I will also be speaking to LPF for any advice that they can offer. And will of course be happy to help any season ticket holders who wish to change seats, although I appreciate that you had already said that you won’t want to move.

This does mean that yourself and any others, will not be able to use either the lift in reception or the toilets on the first floor: stewards will stop anyone who doesn’t have the correct lanyard. The best turnstiles for access is 3&4, as they offer no-step access to the front of the East stand.

If there are other people you are aware of who have been using the lift/1st floor toilets, please do pass on this email to them so they are aware of this, or send me their details and I will contact them direct.

I appreciate that this is not the outcome you wanted, but I will keep you informed with any developments on the handrails and also the LPF.

Lastly, I would hope that you have already been offered the new B&W lounge package, which isn’t too dissimilar from the old Legends Lounge package and offer great value as an upgrade. But if you haven’t and would like info on this, just let me know and I will send the details across. "




I will on return from holiday commence an action under DDA which FGR are breaching buy failing to make a reasonable adjustment as an OAP I cannot afford premium lounges which cost way more than the Legends lounge ever did.I have never heard of club charging to use disabled toilets and this follows on from the charge for blue badge users


FGR no longer wants its old fan base even those of 20+ years

This will probably be the last season I watch FGR as we are OAPs are no longer welcome .My wife is boycotting the game tomorrow and will not enter the stadium.

I suggest you think carefully how welcome our support really is

I hope David Drew if you read this you can talk some sense to those running the club.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby NewForestRover » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:00 pm

I don't know all the details but feel quite sad after reading this post.

Surely disabled fans should receive priority treatment?

So they can get to their seats, go to the toilet etc. with as little stress/difficulty as possible?

Even if it means being able to use lifts and access places that other fans aren't able to.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Bill Shankly » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:05 pm

Thank you for your support but I am afraid the ethos of the club has changed...

But if enough people express their feelings we maybe can change the new status
quo.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby NewForestRover » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:23 pm

Bill Shankly wrote:Thank you for your support but I am afraid the ethos of the club has changed...

But if enough people express their feelings we maybe can change the new status
quo.


I really hope so.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Tomiswalking » Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:51 pm

are there other disabled toilets that can be accessed?
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Eco-Exile » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:17 pm

This is so sad to read. With the way the government has treated people with disabilities during the last ten years it is especially disheartening to see a community club like FGR being so unwelcoming.

Good luck with the DDA. It looks like they are forcing you to move stand which is maybe part of plan to group all people with disabilities in one area? whether they are allowed to do that I don’t know. It seems odd that accessible toilets are not located on the ground floor anyway.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Too occasional fan » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:16 pm

It is the Equality Act now, not DDA.

Good luck.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby michael » Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:22 pm

Tomiswalking wrote:are there other disabled toilets that can be accessed?


thats what i thought -been a couple of years since i have been in the east stand, but i thought there were standard disabled toilets on floor level.

maybe i am wrong, and i am probably missing the point (a little knowledge can be dangerous ) but i find it hard to believe that there are only disabled toilets at what the poster describes as 'elite 'level, so again-i am perhaps missing the point-but seems to me that clubs decision is absolutely correct.

we do not have access to the posters full original enquiry so it is difficult to comment too much ,but there appears to be both a bathroom issue and a general access issue .
these facts were surely known before poster selected his/her seats .
nothing has changed since the end of last season/and or summerwhen season tickets were first available for purchase
(and club seems to have offered to change the seats )

no harm in asking post event, but seems a bit harsh to be publicly critical,and indeed publish a clubs reply when we only have an indication of the posters original enquiry/complaint , if we don't get the answer we want.

based on what i read -seems to me that club have made absolutely the correct decision.

in all categories, positive discrimination is as bad as any form of discrimination in my book .

i may be very wrong, and i would thus encourage the original poster to share the conclusions of the action he/she is taking under the DDA/equality act and their specific findings
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Bill Shankly » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:08 am

The nearest facilities are in the extreme corner of the stand I hope, I will either have to endeavour or be thrown out by security today. As my health has deteriorated I have enjoyed the same seats at the back of E stand premium for many years where I can have lift access unfortunately the close by disabled toilet and ordinary toilets are on the elite level which has been used by all supporters since the ground was constructed until a few weeks ago .
Yes I could move to the front row and sit in the rain at pitch level but under disability provision within the stadium guidelines ,disabled supporters are meant to be able to have accessible seating not at pitch level but within the stand. This is something that the new stadium should be able to accommodate

Expecting disabled supporters to traverse steps up and down lacking a hand rail and trail the length of the pitch and back is not really acceptable treatment nor is having to sit on the edge of the pitch with no perspective or protection from bad weather.
I have watched football all round the country and abroad ,despite FGR's New lawn being a modern stadium it did not address the requirements of the 2002 stadium access guide in many ways which hopefully will be addressed at Easington if planning position is granted.
The Stadium Metropolitan in Madrid was excellent from a disability point of view however the Spanish policy consider walking sticks to be weapons !!

I am disappointed in the reaction of management but if they don't want an older fanbase so be it. I am allowed to take up cudgels on behalf of supporters like myself who have limited mobility as I like to think this club should value ALL its supporters and has the right ethos of not being elitist and money grabbing after all we are a League 2 not a Premiership team
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Eco-Exile » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:14 am

This is the information being broadcast on the official FGR website. Is this incorrect?

“The East Stand

The East Stand is our main stand – and it’s seating only. From here, you can access the Carol Embrey Suite, which serves food and is open to all East Stand ticket holders. You can also enjoy VIP dining in the Carol Embrey Suite.

You can get through to the hospitality suites from the East Stand, as well as the Black and White Lounge bar. And if you’re looking for a snack or a drink down on the concourse, you can find vegan food and drink below the East Stand too.

The East Stand has disabled access, seating and toilets.

https://www.fgr.co.uk/visit-us/ground-guide
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Greeners » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:23 am

Hi
Your mention of handrails has reminded me of what I noticed at Bradford, their tiers had wider step ways with handrails up the centre of them.
I am not disabled but i find that going down the somewhat steeper stands the bigger grounds have makes me feel quite uncomfortable as I always feel that I am falling forward, handrails remove that sensation.

I believe we have had discussions on here before about FGRs compliance with DDA/Equalities Acts; I think the last one was about Loop provision for people with hearing difficulties.
I don't know if that was resolved satisfactorily.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Chrisgump11 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:03 am

I find this post really concerning albeit I may not know all the facts

As a deaf person, I have tried previously to encourage hearing loops and similar equipment but did not find support from the stadium management. This too runs contrary to Equal Opportunities legislation in a facility open to the public

I find it hard to understand how the integrity of the hospitality floor might be undermined by permitting disabled people to use the nearest accessible WCs. What could go wrong?

Unlike the poster, I salute and thank the Club for the support it has given to many charities and disabled people. It is not fair to point the finger at our Chair who has an excellent record in that respect

But this decision is NOT in his tradition and I urge a rethink. Able people should take decisions not from their perspective but from those who have special needs.

Is the request being made by the poster really something that cannot be accommodated by a flexible and sympathetic exceptional arrangement? Surely not
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Kentstripe » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:12 am

Surely it shouldn't be too difficult to issue blue badge holders with some sort of pass that allows them to access the lift, use the upstairs corridors toilets etc? I understand the suites/lounges being hospitality only but their doors tend to be manned by security anyway so allowing a few non hospitality fans to use the upstairs without going in restricted areas shouldn't be too difficult logistically?
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Lady Magpie » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:32 am

Isn't the flat area on the end of the upstairs East Stand a disable area anymore. It's where I have always sat until the last couple of seasons. I know regular disabled supporters that used it along with the disabled toilets.

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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby stanman » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:47 am

If the issue first mentioned in this thread is now the current modus operandi used by FGR for disabled fans or for frailer less mobile elderly supporters then this is not good. I normally bring 2 season ticket holders (also blue-badge holders) to home games and if they are unable to use the nearest toilet facilities on the top floor before and/or after a game, or access their seats at the top of the main stand via the lift and then out through the top floor, then they will be pretty much unable to come to games again. No way could either of them climb the steps outside from pitch-side to reach their seats.

Would they want to move to seat much lower down for the remainder of the season to a seat at ground-floor level and probably nearer one end or other? No they would not.
They would likely give up on FGR and move to Brimscombe or Shortwood for Sat afternoon entertainment.

Stadium management - think again on this one, please.

The kindness, support and help offered by Stewards and Staff at Bournemouth in finding a suitable seat for one of my friends above who went was exemplary. Sadly very much not the norm at most away grounds he has visited. The Cherries have certainly got it right. I have written to AFC Bournemouth to thank them on his behalf.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby FGR-Ledge » Sat Aug 31, 2019 1:10 pm

I think this is a big reason why crowds are down this season at the New Lawn.

Henry Stalin's pathetic ethos of Hospitality is killing the friendly nature of this club, it surely goes well against Dale!s ethos of inclusivity not exclusivity!!!

Wouldn't hold your breath on a re-think though he seems far to stubborn a person!!!

Awful management to be honest!!!!!
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Bill Shankly » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:37 pm

Thank you for the support ,once again the gate is down with chasms behind both goals.
Hopefully the management elite will sort out proper disabled facilities, hearing loops ,blue badge parking (none again today despite paying £92 in advance) and a friendly attitude.

We live in hope but I fear the worst.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Chrisgump11 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:50 pm

Having exchanged a few emails today, I gather that the nub of the complaint is whether standard (not just the disabled WC) can be made available to people in the East Stand, most particularly frail older supporters. Stanman's post is therefore pertinent.

I get where the Club is coming from as regards preserving the 'hospitality & premium floor'. FGR has to make money or else we cannot compete. And it has invested in the Gym bar which is well used and compares well with facilities in other stadia. Also, let's stop the reference to a 'Management Elite' as it is unfair and drives people into corners - not helpful if a solution is sought.

But surely there is a difference between seniors wishing to relieve themselves at the nearest convenience and somehow devaluing the hospitality experience? At the most extreme, maybe those aged 65 can show their senior season ticket or day ticket? Or we can trust our supporters simply to visit the WCs then go back to their seats and just have the security guys keep a wary eye open? Is that really untenable?

Maybe this is not the most important job our stadium staff have deal with in the general run of things. But with a bit of imagination, we can solve this rather demeaning argument and move on.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby twoguns » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:43 pm

I think Kentstripe's post above is the simple solution to this problem.

I too used to attend matches with a great guy who had a disability so it really is something the club needs to address. When he attended with us we switched from the Wet terrace to the East stand soley for the ease of access egress. Please remember Dane and Henry that the elderly and less able fans have families and friends that you are also in danger of alienating.

Bill, I hope this is sorted ASAP.
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Re: Access to disabled facilities

Postby Fartvs Antiqvvs » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:13 am

And now not able to leave the ground from back rows of premium east stand seats via stairs to reception, without carrying the lanyard.
Quo tendimus?

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