Peter Payne has spoken of his dismay

Peter Payne

Peter Payne

First published in News by , Reporter

A DISABLED man has spoken of his dismay following the withdrawal of help given to him by staff at a Basingstoke shopping centre.

Peter Payne used to receive assistance from a member of staff to wheel him to areas of Festival Place, as he struggles with the sloped layout of the centre.

But the 67-year-old, who had a stroke last May which left him needing to use a wheelchair, has now been told that the help he received will no longer be available when he visits the centre. He currently visits Festival Place three times a week to shop and use the bank.

The grandfather-of-two, who lives in Barber Road, in Brighton Hill, told The Gazette: “The manager told me they can’t push me round any more. They said they were short of staff, but I don’t make unusual demands and I just ask for help to get me to the bank.

“The slope down to the bank is so fast, I cannot stop myself but I can push myself on to Santander. I can’t understand why they are withdrawing the service they have provided me.”

He added: “I will have to pay a carer £15 an hour just to be there, and it is an awful lot of money – I just can’t afford that.”

Festival Place centre director Steven Connolly said: “We are aware of Mr Payne’s request for assistance navigating an area of Festival Place Shopping Centre.

“Customer service is very important to us at Festival Place and we always strive to go the extra mile for our shoppers. Members of our staff have helped Mr Payne numerous times previously, but this isn’t a service we can guarantee.

“Festival Place operates within the requirements of the UK Disability Discrimination Act, and as such is fully accessible to wheelchair users.

“We have also shared the details of Shopmobility, a local charity service offering a wide range of mobility scooters and wheelchairs for those with mobility challenges, with Mr Payne.”

Comments (8)

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11:59am Sun 20 Apr 14

jonone says...

So, has he actually been denied help? Or was this a one off? The comment from the Festival Place management suggest that. Why can he not use the Shopmobility service?

More (or possibly even less!) to this story than the sensationalist headline suggests.
So, has he actually been denied help? Or was this a one off? The comment from the Festival Place management suggest that. Why can he not use the Shopmobility service? More (or possibly even less!) to this story than the sensationalist headline suggests. jonone
  • Score: 8

2:07pm Sun 20 Apr 14

amleyland says...

Shopmobility is an answer but having pushed wheelchairs myself I have always wondered if the ramp from the main entrance hall down to BHS is steeper than is safe even for those. Presumably this was thought of when the Mall was built? And if the gentleman has had a stroke he may not be able to use the Shopmobility equipment.
Shopmobility is an answer but having pushed wheelchairs myself I have always wondered if the ramp from the main entrance hall down to BHS is steeper than is safe even for those. Presumably this was thought of when the Mall was built? And if the gentleman has had a stroke he may not be able to use the Shopmobility equipment. amleyland
  • Score: 6

4:16pm Sun 20 Apr 14

Chocolatebar says...

I'm sure if he asked a member of the public passing by to help him to the bottom they would be happy to help.
I'm sure if he asked a member of the public passing by to help him to the bottom they would be happy to help. Chocolatebar
  • Score: 5

5:15pm Sun 20 Apr 14

jonone says...

amleyland wrote:
Shopmobility is an answer but having pushed wheelchairs myself I have always wondered if the ramp from the main entrance hall down to BHS is steeper than is safe even for those. Presumably this was thought of when the Mall was built? And if the gentleman has had a stroke he may not be able to use the Shopmobility equipment.
Wasn't there a ramp there down to the market square in pre-Festival Place days? The current construction merely follows the same land profile?

If he can't use the Shopmobility equipment (electric wheelchair with joystick control) how is he managing with a manual wheelchair?
[quote][p][bold]amleyland[/bold] wrote: Shopmobility is an answer but having pushed wheelchairs myself I have always wondered if the ramp from the main entrance hall down to BHS is steeper than is safe even for those. Presumably this was thought of when the Mall was built? And if the gentleman has had a stroke he may not be able to use the Shopmobility equipment.[/p][/quote]Wasn't there a ramp there down to the market square in pre-Festival Place days? The current construction merely follows the same land profile? If he can't use the Shopmobility equipment (electric wheelchair with joystick control) how is he managing with a manual wheelchair? jonone
  • Score: 5

5:26pm Sun 20 Apr 14

stevenm353 says...

I had a stroke and have no hand the other is in mobile, I have used shopmobility many times why doesn't he?
I had a stroke and have no hand the other is in mobile, I have used shopmobility many times why doesn't he? stevenm353
  • Score: 7

9:54am Mon 21 Apr 14

Marina Morris says...

What about the lifts?
What about the lifts? Marina Morris
  • Score: 4

12:38pm Mon 21 Apr 14

Alfie The Dog says...

What a non story, imagine if every wheelchair user in Basingstoke expected the Festival Place staff to push them about.
What a non story, imagine if every wheelchair user in Basingstoke expected the Festival Place staff to push them about. Alfie The Dog
  • Score: 18

6:30pm Sat 17 May 14

Mighty Antar says...

It sounds to me like Mr Payne is being discriminated against by Festival Place. This isn't about him wanting to be wheeled endlessly around Festival Place, it's about him wanting to get up and down a steep slope within Festival Place to his bank safely, something that Festival Place have a specific duty to provide under current legislation and an area where they can't just dump their responsibility onto the service user. I hope other disabled people take note.
It sounds to me like Mr Payne is being discriminated against by Festival Place. This isn't about him wanting to be wheeled endlessly around Festival Place, it's about him wanting to get up and down a steep slope within Festival Place to his bank safely, something that Festival Place have a specific duty to provide under current legislation and an area where they can't just dump their responsibility onto the service user. I hope other disabled people take note. Mighty Antar
  • Score: -2

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