We want to re-open York city centre to disabled people. #ClosedToUs

by Melanie Starkey

We want to re-open York city centre to disabled people. #ClosedToUs

by Melanie Starkey
Melanie Starkey
Case Owner
As a disabled person I’m proud to be a member of York Accessibility Action. Together we are fighting the street closures which have excluded me from my own city. #ClosedToUs
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Melanie Starkey
Case Owner
As a disabled person I’m proud to be a member of York Accessibility Action. Together we are fighting the street closures which have excluded me from my own city. #ClosedToUs
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: April 20, 2022

April 2022 Mini Update

Dear supporters, 

We're sorry that we haven't been in touch recently but as any of you on our social media such as Facebook https://www.facebook.com/yorkaccessibilityaction/ and Twitter @…

Read more

We are York Accessibility Action - a Disabled Persons Organisation founded by disabled York residents and our carers. 

We are hoping to legally challenge the City of York Council regarding the permanent closure of key city centre streets to Blue Badge holders.

In summer 2020 the council extended the pedestrian zone using emergency Covid 19 legislation, banning Blue Badge holders from 10.30am - 8pm. There is now no suitable parking within 150 metres of the city centre. These changes have prevented many residents with visible and invisible disabilities from accessing services, shops, dentists, opticians, the post office, banks, cinema, restaurants, churches, community centres, events -  in fact everything which exists behind the barriers!

All attempts at communication and constructive consultation with the Council have met with no positive outcome and have failed to provide practical and meaningful alternatives to the ability to park close enough to the city centre.

We believe the City of York Council is disregarding the Equality Act 2010 and the human rights of disabled residents and visitors.

We now feel our only recourse is to explore legal avenues.

Our initial fundraising target is £5,000 to pay our specialist disability discrimination lawyers to explore whether we have a legal case to challenge the changes which threaten our human rights, independence and dignity.  

We have instructed Chris Fry at Scott-Moncrieff & Associates Limited.

Any donation, however small,  will be gratefully received.   

Together we can do this! 

Many thanks for your support.

York Accessibility Action

#ClosedToUs



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Update 5

Melanie Starkey

April 20, 2022

April 2022 Mini Update

Dear supporters, 

We're sorry that we haven't been in touch recently but as any of you on our social media such as Facebook https://www.facebook.com/yorkaccessibilityaction/ and Twitter @YorkAccessible will realise we are keeping the campaign in the public eye. 

We are still working with Chris Fry and after a recent further call for evidence, we’re currently collating the claimants and identifying people who have been most significantly affected by the extended street closures.

We may not be able to put out more frequent updates currently but watch this space.

Thanks again for your support!

Update 4

Melanie Starkey

Jan. 13, 2022

We’re off!

Thanks to your help our lawyers are now reaching out to over 40 potential claimants and are preparing the case for injunctive relief to overturn the discriminatory decision in York to exclude Blue Badge holders from the city centre by City of York Council.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be asking for more information and looking to engage with more disabled and older peoples’ organisations to identify those isolated by the extended street closures since June 2020. We are so grateful to all our generous backers for the funds raised to get us here, & hope to apply any additional funds to increasing resources to assist with evidence gathering in the challenge against City of York Council.

A huge thank you from us all.

The Google form to join the legal case is at https://forms.gle/rPZYiwDfFHpgEdbA7 If you’d prefer a paper form or can use a supply of the paper form let us know via YorkAccessibilityAction@gmail.com

Update 3

Melanie Starkey

Dec. 20, 2021

York Blue Badge Exclusion on Sky News

Update 2

Melanie Starkey

Dec. 4, 2021

A huge to everyone contributing so as we approach the £10,000 stretch target

A huge thanks to all our wonderful supporters, as we now have £8,315 pledged of the £10,000 stretch target from 242 pledges! 

A special thanks should go to the York Sight Loss Council, who, this week, donated £1000 to our campaign. This must show the City Of York Council that we do have the support of the visually impaired community in York, and, contrary to what the CoYC has stated in the media and at meetings, the visually impaired community actively want the foot street closures to be reversed. (or want the foot streets reopened)

Given that support covers the broad disabled community, including York Older People’s Assembly, we must continue to challenge the council to correct what they've been saying (to the contrary).

We’ve now had coverage in the local media, with regular slots on radio along with the national media. Members of YAA have been filmed by the BBC, ITV, and Sky, although some material is yet to be broadcast. We’ve also had coverage in Posability https://posabilitymagazine.co.uk/ and the Healthwatch York winter newsletter.

Please keep tweeting and sharing our campaign, so that we have a chance to challenge and overturn these dreadful closures.

If you are a Blue Badge holder and excluded from your normal business in the centre of York don’t for get to add your details to the claimants form https://forms.gle/rPZYiwDfFHpgEdbA7

In solidarity, all at YAA!

Update 1

Melanie Starkey

Dec. 4, 2021

We're building our legal fight against City of York Council #ClosedToUs

This is am update for everyone who has so kindly and generously donated so far.

We have been really overwhelmed by your support and we would like to thank you all for donating.

We can only mount this legal challenge with your help.

Next steps:

Following discussions with our legal expert, Chris Fry who is a leading disability rights lawyer, we are now fund raising for an insurance policy to protect against adverse litigation costs – so if we didn’t win the case against City of York Council, then we wouldn’t be liable for the costs. We are seeking barristers' opinion about our chances for a legal challenge and part of our challenge is time critical, so we need to keep the crowd funding campaign active and visible.

Funds are being held for barristers’ opinions and any overflow funding will go into defence funds.

We are conducting a two pronged approach to our challenge and consequently we are adding a claimants form to our page and social media challenges to gather claimants for a challenge to City of York Council, please do fill it in if you are affected and pass it on to others who might be eligible. You have a disability that means you have not been able to access places within the city centre that you could access before the extended foot streets closures. You will have suffered a detriment as you will have been unable to access services such as the main Post Office and City Screen in Coney Street, your opticians, pharmacy and shops and you didn’t have an alternative.

The claimants form https://forms.gle/rPZYiwDfFHpgEdbA7

Please do keep sharing the #ClosedtoUs Crowd Justice link on social media and encourage others to donate.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/closedtous/

https://www.frylegal.co.uk/blog/york-streets-cleared-of-wheelchairs

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/blue-badge-disabled-york-council-b1962812.html

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