Frank Allen MBE

Our Group’s first campaign began at Christmas time in 1983. Members decided to lobby retailers who located toys on upper floors that did not have lift access, requesting them to consider relocating these products on the ground floor.
We explained to them our rationale of the folly of such a policy in that it discriminated not only against the disabled but also parents with young children in prams/pushchairs and the elderly. The thought had never occurred to them, tradition had dictated how shops were laid out. This would never happen today, or could it?

The retailers we lobbied soon realised that it was in their best interest, both morally and financially, to make the adjustments we had requested of them and by the following Christmas all had done so.

This was an emphatic win; win, for both the Access Group and retailing per se, common sense had at last prevailed. It was a resounding triumph for our Group that allowed Members a glimpse at what could be achieved by working together and enabled us to move forward with confidence.

South Wales Evening Post, October 6th 2003


Llanelli Town Hall Entrance Wheelchair Lift

BBC News, Saturday, 18 January, 2003

Disabled protesters' front door battle

Llanelli Town Hall Lift Campaign BBC News, Llanelli Town Hall

Disabled people, who have led a 10-year campaign for permanent access to Llanelli Town Hall's front door, could finally be victorious. Carmarthenshire council have drawn up plans for a device to allow people with mobility problems into the building.
At the moment portable ramps can be set up by staff but members of the Llanelli Disabled Access Group have said they want facilities at the Grade II listed building improved. If the plans are given the go-ahead it would be the latest in a raft of measures which has seen more than £600,000 being spent by the local authority throughout the region.

Claire Griffiths, from Carmarthenshire council, said the building preservation group CADW has blocked plans for the town hall in the past but new proposals were being discussed. A representative from CADW said they are working together with the authority after rejecting previous proposals because they were damaging to the building. The new route could not come soon enough for Frank Allen, chairman of the Disabled Access Group. Mr Allen said the same access route should be enjoyed by disabled as well as able-bodied people.

"Why shouldn't people with disabilities get in through the same door as any able-bodied person," he said.
"Disabled people want to get into the same places as anyone else. "The town hall is a Grade II listed building - built in a time when anyone with a disability was locked in a back room not able to see the light of day," he added.

Mr Allen and his 20-strong group, which covers the area from Ferryside to north of Llandovery, said they will continue to call for better facilities at buildings throughout the town. Schemes including recently-built flush kerbs, dimpled pavements and better access will benefit elderly people and parents with pushchairs as well," said Mr Allen. The easy rider scheme in Pembrey Country Park, where wheelchair users can be locked into a six-wheel car which they drive, is one example of a "fantastic" facility, he added.

The Llanelli Disabled Access Group has praised Carmarthenshire County Council and presented them with a certificate for their work in the town. Further projects are now planned for Felinfoel, Cross Hands and Cefneithin. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, the authority must take all reasonable steps to improve facilities for disabled people by 2004. The council's senior streetcare engineer Roy Griffiths said the authority is now reaching out to outlying areas. "The aim is to complete works at every town and village in Carmarthenshire," he said. "The programme is in its third year and we are planning works for next year.

"We complete around 400 works a year, at an annual cost of around £200,000," he added.

The Llanelli Town Hall Lift was finally completed in 2004.



The Flush to the Highway Kerbs Campaign

This campaign is a partnership project with Carmarthenshire County Council for the provision and awareness of the functions of flush highway crossing points throughout the County.

It targets those who require these crossings and motorists who abuse them by parking across them, thus preventing access onto pavements.

We ask for those who require the provision of such kerbs to contact us in order that we may make representations, on their behalf, to Carmarthenshire County Council. 


Flush to the Highway Kerbs campaign