Labour councillors, shocked to learn that Hanham Library does not have a rear fire exit that meets disability standards, have reacted with dismay to the ruling Conservatives voting down a proposal for council officials to look at local developer contributions to remedy the situation.
In a report to this afternoon’s Environment & Communities Committee, councillors were told that a fire risk assessment had recently highlighted that Hanham Library’s secondary fire exit has eight steps which would prevent many people with disabilities from using it.
However, Hanham Library should have been the beneficiary of community contributions from a number of past developments, including £34,789 from the Hanham Hall scheme as "a contribution towards the cost of improvement of the local library facilities at Hanham Library including building improvements", and £7,069 from the Whittucks/Memorial Road scheme as "a contribution towards the cost of improvement of the local library at Hanham".
Labour’s Lead on communities issues, Councillor Ian Boulton, says:
“My proposal asked council officials to investigate these sums and come back with a plan for using some of it to sort out the fire exit situation at Hanham Library.
These remedial works cannot be left undone now that council members and officials have been told about the problems with the eight step exit, so I am dismayed that Conservative members, including two of Hanham's own councillors, have chosen to block them.”