A disabled access expert has questioned why 10 Downing Street – which has one of the most iconically-inaccessible front doors on the planet – has been presented with a high-profile access award.Images of the front entrance to the prime minister’s home and offices – with its two steps to the front door – are shown every day all over the world.But despite staff needing to bring out a portable ramp if a wheelchair-user wants to enter the grade I listed building through the front entrance, 10 Downing Street was presented with an award at last month’s Blue Badge Style Awards.The awards recognise venues that have “made an effort to attract guests with disabilities”, and those nominated are rated on their style, facilities and accessibility, with other winners including the Ritz Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany, the Beaumont Hotel in Mayfair, and the Dandelyan cocktail bar on London’s South Bank.The citation for the “above and beyond” award said that 10 Downing Street had “pulled out all the stops” on access.Historic England – the government-sponsored public body responsible for “championing England’s heritage” – told Disability News Service this week that it had advised the Cabinet Office on recent access improvements to the building, including a new internal lift, but that so far there had had been no discussions about the steps at the front entrance.Tracey Proudlock, founder of the leading access consultancy Proudlock Associates, and a former government adviser on disability equality, questioned why 10 Downing Street had been handed an award.She said the need to use a ramp at the front door showed that 10 Downing Street had not gone “above and beyond” on access, and she contrasted it with the “great thinking” that had gone into the “creative” access work at Canterbury Cathedral.Proudlock said that front doors are often symbolically important on access.She said: “In terms of Number 10, it is where you deliver your petition or go in to get your new ministerial job.“I think the entrance to Number 10 is really symbolic.“At any front door, disabled people don’t want to be treated differently and that is still happening here.“No matter how quick they are at deploying a temporary ramp, it’s still not an inclusive provision.“Getting out a portable ramp isn’t really a modern approach to providing inclusion.”Proudlock said that just because a building had grade I listed building status, that did not mean that features such as steps to a front door could not be removed.She added: “When big decisions on access are taken, they have to involve disabled people, and at the moment often they do not.”Earlier this year, she wrote in her blog how the Bank of England had come up with an ingenious solution to provide level access at its historic front entrance.She wrote: “If front entrance access can be achieved at the Bank of England – built in 1734, when most disabled people would have been in the workhouse or infirmary – it can be done in a lot more places…“Everyone blames everyone else for why it ‘can’t be done’ or ‘isn’t worth doing’.“Important public buildings, however historic, are no less important to members of the public who happen to be disabled.”A Number 10 spokeswoman said: “Downing Street is committed to accessibility and we have undertaken a programme of works over recent years to make sure this historic building is accessible to all who visit.”This includes improved accessible toilets, “increased ramping”, and a new lift providing access to the state rooms.She said: “We’re proud to have these efforts recognised by the Blue Badge Style Awards.”She said the front door was “manned by a custodian constantly, meaning that it is accessible 24/7 to those who require the use of a ramp”.But she had failed to say by noon today (Thursday) whether there had been any discussions about removing the steps at the front entrance.Historic England confirmed that the Cabinet Office was “rolling out a programme of improvements to the grade I listed complex to proactively address disabled access”.She said: “Historic England advised on the recent installation of the award-winning lift [inside] Downing Street and regularly discusses listed building alterations with Cabinet Office.”Another spokeswoman added later: “There have not yet been any formal discussions with Cabinet Office about alterations specifically to the front steps of Number 10.“The accessibility audit is still being worked through and we will continue to advise as necessary.”Fiona Jarvis (pictured, outside 10 Downing Street), founder of Blue Badge Style and a wheelchair-user herself, said the award recognised the effort made by 10 Downing Street in recent refurbishments.She said in a statement: “They now have stylish toilets for people with disabilities on every floor and stairs that turn into a lift, allowing people with disabilities to get from the main building to the rest of the rooms more easily.“Immediately you arrive they come out with a portable ramp, which means you can negotiate the iconic front steps which are tied by a grade I listing. “More than anything it’s their attitude to doing their best for people with disabilities that won them the award.”Asked why the award had been given when the front entrance was so clearly inaccessible to wheelchair-users, a spokeswoman said that Jarvis “recognises the issue with the steps, but her experience was that [because] they got the ramp out so quickly, there wasn’t a problem getting in to the building”.
And this was done with the squad down to the bare bones due to injuries to key personnel – although with the performances of those youngsters drafted in you would never know.In fact the game was virtually over as early as the 10th minute as the Saints went over for their third try, taking a 14 point strangle-hold on the visitors.The Saints took the lead after only 60 seconds with Josh Simm picking up a Catalans fumble over the line from Jack Welsby’s delightfully weighted grubber. This came after a Callum Hazzard offload had put Welsby away on a 40 metre run into the visitors half.The visitors should have equalized on five minutes but after a break down the middle the pass went straight to the covering Tom Nisbet. A clever Jake Wingfield penalty for offside at the play the ball and three tackles later quick hands allowed Nisbet to put Simm in for his second.The Josh Simm show continued on the next set as his 40 metre break took him to the fullback. He passed left to the supporting Kye Siyani who didn’t have the pace to go the remaining 30 metres and was caught short of the line. Two tackles later, however, and Cam Brown was dummying his way over in the right corner.The tide turned slightly along with the penalty count and it took two Nisbet led tackles in one set to keep the Dragons scoreless.From the handover the Saints were finding it tough going to get out of their own 30 but got another set when Welsby’s last tackle clearance kick was charged down. Three tackles later and Nisbet broke through the middle of the line. 30 metres later he stepped around the fullback, evaded the head high tackle of the covering centre and then outpaced the rest of the cover over the last 40 metres to the right corner for a great individual try.The Saints kept the point a minute tally up by scoring their fifth try without reply. Strong drives out of defence from the returning John Hutchings and hardworking debutant Brandon Scully put the Saints on the front foot. Another break from Captain Hazzard to the beleaguered fullback saw him put Welsby in by the sticks.The visitors gave themselves a glimmer of hope on the half hour as the tall second row took advantage of some lethargic tackling and two penalties on the bounce to reach over.The call at oranges was to eradicate last week’s poor restart and to turn the screw and that’s what happened as from the kick off great kick chase work from Siyani, Hutchings, Joe Sharratt and Ryan Horne saw the Dragons winger pushed back into his own in-goal for a Saints repeat set.The perfect start of a Sharratt try from Horne’s grubber was ruled out for a dubious offside, but the Saints were in from their next set.Drives from Sam Royle and Chris Kellett and a Paul Nash/Royle offload to each other saw Nash dummy his way under the posts.The Saints were making the game look easy with their defensive line speed and power running epitomised in the run up to the seventh try.Two drives from Jorge Lewtas, promoted to the starting line-up, and his bench replacement Kian Horridge saw the Saints in the Dragons red zone. On the last the ball was moved right to Horne who, on seeing his kick options ruled out by a poor pass, stepped back inside off his right foot no less than five times before primly dotting the ball down under the posts.Unfortunately as the game went into the final quarter injuries, both old and new started to take their toll on the Saints allowing the visitors to score twice.Sandwiched in between Sam Royle had a try disallowed for a double movement which could easily have been ruled as a trip on the loose forward as he went for the line.The last laugh was reserved for Sharratt as he twisted his way over after a repeat set had the Dragons under pressure.Looking purely at the scoreboard this was a good win. Considering the meagre and inexperienced resources available to the Saints, this was a fantastic win.Kian Horridge in only his third game off the bench and the encouraging debut of Brandon Scully showed the type of gutsy performances shown by the players. Lewtas and Royle did big minutes and Kye Siyani pushed through cramp to play the full 80 but vying with each other for the best on park were Callum Hazzard and Jack Welsby.Match Summary:Saints U19: Tries: Josh Simm (1 & 6), Cameron Brown (10), Tom Nisbett (22), Jack Welsby (24), Paul Nash (46), Ryan Horne (51), Joe Sharratt (77). Goals: Callum Hazzard 3 from 6, Josh Simm 1 from 1, Jack Welsby 1 from 1.Catalans U19s: Tries: Corentin Le Cam (28 & 64), Robin Brochon (70). Goals: Arthur Mourgue 0 from 3.Half Time: 24-4 Full Time: 42-12Teams:Saints: 1. Tom Nisbet; 5. John Hutchings, 3. Cameron Brown, 4. Josh Simm, 2. Sean Croston; 6. Jack Welsby, 7. Ryan Horne; 8. Jorge Lewtas, 9. Jake Wingfield, 10. Callum Hazzard, 11. Joe Sharratt, 12. Kye Siyani, 13. Sam Royle. Subs: 14. Paul Nash, 15. Brandon Scully, 16. Kian Horridge, 17. Christian Kellett.Catalans: 1. Robin Brochon; 2. Guillame Gorka, 3. Louis Carre, 4. Matthieu Laguerre, 5. Ugo Martin; 6. Thomas Lacans, 7. Arthur Mourgue (C); 8. Barthelemy Rouge, 9. Thibault Osuna, 16. Tiaki Chan, 11. Luc Delor, 12. Corentin Le Cam, 13. Lucas Vergniol. Subs: 10. Florian Vailhen, 14. David de Macedo, 15. Valentin Zafra, 17. Mathieu Cozza.
WhatsApp A 32 year old accused of physically attacking Partit Demokratiklu candidate Charles Polidano has been ordered by Court to keep his distance from the victim. Jack Azzopardi, accused of threatening and injuring Polidano, as well as damaging his car and disrupting the public peace, has been ordered to stay away and have no contact with Polidano for the next two years.In Court, Polidano expressed his disappointment that the Court did not ask him to be present during the hearing or allow him the opportunity to call his witnesses.The Court heard how Polidano had contacted Azzopardi’s mother, asking her to sign a recommendation for his candidature. Mrs Azzopardi, who cannot read or write, signed the recommendation and subsequently, Polidano received many phone threats, which eventually led to the assault.Read: PD local council candidate physically assaulted outside his home – PDAzzopardi’s defence argued that Polidano took advantage of the accused’s mother. Azzopardi also stated that when Polidano talked to Mrs Azzopardi, she was told he was representing Partit Laburista, and not Partit Demokratiku. Polidano insisted that the accused’s mother was fully aware what she was signing. <a href=’https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG10438.jpg” alt=”center_img” /> SharePrint