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Thread: Margate Pet Shop owner told me I am not allowed in her shop in my wheelchair

  1. #21
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    I suspect the owner thinks you will get fed up and give up if she ignores the problem and you long enough.
    Do that visit with the mayor, can only be for the good.

    DO NOT GIVE UP.
    Good luck

  2. #22
    I've just been catching up with your progress. I am delighted and reassured that the Mayor has offered to help in this way. Good luck with the visit. Rest assured you are being brave for a totally worthwhile reason and the vast majority of people would not only be supportive of your efforts but also grateful for the improvement you are trying to secure for the sake of others besides yourself.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    I wish this was in Leeds. I am not one for overt demonstrations, I have had my moments though. If it were here I would ask to come with you, to support you & to be a disabled person. Maybe this is what you should look to, getting some disabled people together, through a disabled organisation, to all visit this shop, to protest even. Let me tell you, most people do not give a rat's backside about us, but you stand or sit in front of them outside a shop, & show why they should not go into that shop, it shames many into backing you. This would make this woman sit up & take notice, when she started losing business.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Stephen

  4. #24
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    I got a reply to my registered letter that I sent to the Paw Prince pet shop owner.
    This is exactly what she wrote:

    I'm sorry that you felt you were being discriminated against, I do not and would not object to disabled people coming into our shop. We have in fact had our once single entrance converted into a double one to enable easier access for disabled customers, however our shop simply isn't big enough for wheelchairs or pushchairs to manoeuvre around the shop. We do try to keep a wide entrance just inside the doorway for wheelchairs and pushchairs to park, where our staff will then be more than happy to serve customers from.
    For health and safety reasons we cannot allow customers to be moving fixtures and fittings and stock around the shop, as they are not only expensive to replace if they get damaged, but could also cause an injury.
    I trust this has cleared up any misunderstanding that you may have had.
    Regards
    For and on behalf of Paw Prince.

  5. #25
    Senior Member andypandy's Avatar
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    What an absolute insult Christine !!!! A place where wheelchairs can park !!!!

    Have you thought any more about going public with this ?

    If not I think you are just going to have to admit defeat and NEVER EVER go into that shop again and tell all your friends not to either.

    I bet the shop owners would soon have a different take on matters if they were to be in a wheelchair. I suppose the difficulty in proving that she is going against the DDA is that she is tarring pushchairs in the same vein.

    If it was black people who could not get into the shop it would be a different matter. Oh I am so so so mad

    Thanks for keeping us upto date

  6. #26
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    Boycott, simple as that. I think if any aisle inside a shop is not wide enough for people, be that the aisle itself or the end part where you may queue or turn, then it is not even wide enough for people who can walk. Wheelchairs are not that big, we all know this. Two people side-by-side take up more room. So how do they manage when passing each other? Does someone have to walk out of the shop so the other person can get by? Of course a wheelchair needs a little more room than a single person does, but we are not talking about that. This shop is using that as an excuse.

    I think they are being very cunning in the wording of this, as AP has pointed out. The law says that a shop has to make reasonable provisions for disabled access. This takes into account the size, design & even shape of a shop. Now we all know some shops just are not in a position to grant full access without losing a huge amount of floor space, some shop entrances are right on the street & ramps cannot always be fitted. This is why there are other options, such are portable ramps, etc. I state again, if any shop cannot take a wheelchair then it is dangerous for anyone to go in there, as the risks of accidents are great. Many shops are using the ambiguity of the wording to get away with not having to give disabled people proper access. They also know we cannot fight as we have little support to do so. Breaking any law is a criminal offence, but it would be seen as a Civil matter.

    I have seen very small shops try their best to make proper provisions, shops that really cannot take wheelchairs, but they have altered the layout as best they can. I have seen larger shops not bother at all. In fact, at our locak shopping centre there is a Greggs that has a huge step, I mean very steep that I cannot get up it, let alone someone in a wheelchair, yet they have a huge floor space, enough to lower the entrance & not effect the floor space. A few shops down a William Hill just opened, they put in a ramp, & their shop is much smaller.
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    Stephen

  7. #27
    Senior Member beau's Avatar
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    We have a shop so crammed I can't get round with my walker. When I complained they said the central aisle was wide enough, which it is, and that they offer a personal shopper service. How do you know what you want if you can't browse?
    I am sorely tempted to ask them to bring me a sample of everything on their racks for me to look at and then buy nothing.

    The reason I won't do that is because the staff are always so busy and work very hard, it wouldn't be fair to them. It would make a point though.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    I have had a thought Christine, based on the letter you may have a case under Health & Safety regulations. She said it herself, that you cannot move stock around, that suggests the stock is in the way of peoples' access. This would be a serious risk to safety, & possibly a breach of the law. This may also count for the fixtures & fittings. If a shop does not leave adequate space to move around, so much so that items or fittings are in the way of anyone, not just wheelchairs or prams, this cannot be allowed. You may wish to contact your local Environmental Health Dept & the Health & Safety Executive. it is a long shot, but the letter is evidence in stating it is not safe for wheelchairs or prams.

    I agree Beau, we have the same issue at times, in getting things off shelves, not exactly the same, but you know what I mean. It is always hard finding staff to help, & you feel like a nuisance.
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    Stephen

  9. #29
    Senior Member Jay's Avatar
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    The letter is a cop out. If they've had their doors widened then they have to make sure you can shop!

  10. #30
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    Exactly, which is why them mentioning moving stock is a health & safety issue implies that stock is preventing safe movement by being in the way.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Stephen

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