A group of wheelchair users started meeting together, determined to make a difference. LWUG has met regularly since 2004, has developed a Committee, Constitution, has successfully received grant funding most recently from a Grassroots Grant in 2009 and is applying for charitable status.
Did you know ?
That already the NHS provides for over 10,000 wheelchair users in Liverpool. It now has more specialist wheelchair therapists and a bigger budget for meeting our needs than ever, spending over £1 million pounds 2010. Monies for wheelchairs comes from National NHS to our Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, then to the Liverpool Community Health Trust, to the Wheelchair Service based at Lifehouse, based at Brunswick Business Park.
So why LWUG?
Much work has been done, but much more work has still to be done, to give us.......
The wheelchairs we need
An accessible City to live in.
It takes time, but with your support and your active help, LWUG aims include :
We want to work towards further improvements to the customer care of services, to keep you in touch better, to widen the range of wheelchairs available and much more.
We want to improve access to information for wheelchair users.
We recognise the importance of the Social Model of Disability , the realisation that so many of the challenges and barriers still faced by disabled people come from inaccessible transport, houses, public buildings and amenities, as well as an underfunding of the health and social support services.
We want to see far better access to public buildings, pavements, kerb crossings in Liverpool, easier to report and get changes.
We want to promote better access to transport, including trains, buses, taxis, ‘Blue Badge’ parking, and Motability Schemes.
see our LWUG Accessible Liverpool page for latest advice on planes trains buses and taxis and Disabled Go surveys
LWUG continues to be active
with representations across the City
finding out what is accessible and what is not
monitoring many health and social care support services and changes that are happening.
In these challenging times , we all need to ensure our Health and Social Care Services
ACCESSIBLE ( how can anyone get information and advice about them? apply for help and support?)
- ACCOUNTABLE ( who made the decisions and when? Who did they consult? and where is it recorded?)
-CLEAR AND TRANSPARENT ( are commissioners and providers making enough effort?) Liverpool Corporate Access Forum- from major hospitals, to car parking, public transport to kerbs , schools to Changing Places- working to make our City more accessible, more inclusive.
Healthwatch Liverpool- replacing Liverpool LINK
committed volunteers and support team make enter and view reports of hospitals, GP services, care homes and community services, including wheelchairs. especially Rate our Service- an opportunity for you and your friends to go on line, safely and anonymously to record both compliments and concerns on a wide variety of both health and social care. These will be used by the Healthwatch team to raise issues, get answers and see improvements rateourservice.co.uk/healthwatch_liverpool/
Making it Happen (MIH) consultation with Clinical Commissioning Group and Social Services Commissioners,
next LWUG meeting - to be arranged shortly but please let LWUG know what your concerns, celebrations and scarey situations might be, even if you cannot physically get to our meetings contact firstname.lastname@example.org
past meetings and key issues
15th November 2012
Link below to
'2nd Tranche of proposed cuts to Liverpool Services' by Liverpool Lord Mayor Joe Anderson.
Details of 1st Tranche also on web page and had been released in October 2012
includes dismantling of Children with Disability Team, separating Social Workers and Occupational Therapists. The future for the OT's uncertain to quote from the report 'The Disabled Children’s Teams offer a specialist service to disabled children and their families. A reduced service would continue but within the generic Safeguarding Teams.The saving would be achieved via a reconfiguration of management and the non filling of social work vacancies.' Is this a fair and sensible way for Liverpool to be supporting Children with Disabilities and their families?
as of July 2013, we still haven't found ANYONE who can tell us more!
New Raised taxi Rank Platform at Dawson st, Liverpool centre. Design is similar to bus access platform with 'rounded' Kassel kerb to get cab wheels closer to pavement.
let us know what you think. Does it work well. Would you like to see more?
October 2012 LWUG committee met at Lime Court Centre,. Upper Baker Street, Liverpool, L6 1NB tel 0151 233 8668
We are grateful to the Lime Court Team for their hospitality and hope to confirm regular meeting dates soon. Blue Badge Parking Bays- following a meeting of the Liverpool Access Group 22/10/12, let us know how would like location information: on Liverpool.gov website? direct.gov website? Disabled go website?, a print off available at one stop shops? Lifehouse? Kerbs,Kerbs, Kerbs!- let us know at LWUG what kerbs are a real and dangerous barrier to you or someone you know. Just indignation changes nothing but your blood pressure. contact LWUG on Wheelie Bins blocking pavements- If Enterprise, the bin collectors, and sadly even your neighbours are leaving bins that are blocking narrow pavements, so you are marooned, or forced to go into the road at least one day a week! let us know at LWUG.
Sept 2012 Liverpool Wheelchair User Group activists, once upon a time started meeting together with wheelchair therapists and other interested parties , supporting developments in Liverpool Wheelchair Service, when it had to operate out of tiny cramped premises on the Mossley Hill Hospital Site.
We campaigned successfully towards the commitment of both Liverpool Social Services and Community Health to the vision, resulting finally in opening of the Lifehouse, with many vital support services under one roof, on Brunswick business Park in 2007.
Unfortunately with changes in rooms and availability, there is no longer anywhere suitable in the Lifehouse building for a Wheelchair User group to meet.
A Big thanks to the people who have made us welcome at the Lifehouse over the years.
March-April 2011, as part of Making it Happen (MIH) consultation with Primary Care Trust and Social Services Commissioners,
see www.liverpool.gov.uk for more details of the MIH groups,
LWUG has now completed a Review of Liverpool Wheelchair Services for children and young people along with other service users and submitted it to the Commisioners June 7th 2011. Thanks to all who contributed.
At LWUG we hope it will contribute to the discussion
and let us know your thoughts
December 2010 -we pass on the sad news of the death of Jean Price after a long illness, a great friend and courageous campaigner and pioneer for better support, access and rights for disabled people. Her funeral was held at Mossley Hill Parish Church, Rose Lane on thursday 30th December 2010 at 12.30pm.
July 2010 Special Seating Support Clinics moves to Lifehouse from 1st August. Contact the Wheelchair Team as usual , but you will be seen there rather than Aintree hospital .
July 2010 Attending a Council Select committee meeting Deb Lynch records on News and Events Page her experiences of attending a select committee and taking part in Roger phillips phone in.
June 2010 LWUG is asking Aintree Hospital to carry out an Impact assessment of transport and travel to and from the hospital after difficulties were raised about the Hackney Cab rank, so important to many wheelchair users and other disabled people. Watch this space. Let us know at email@example.com your thoughts at any other hospital.
April 2010 recession is still hitting taxis hard in Liverpool
but we now know of increasing numbers of Peugeot E7 cabs operating in Liverpool
please pass on any more details to us at LWUG
Liverpool Wheelchair Service are routinely reviewing wheelchair repairs, deliveries etc. done by ROSSCARE
What about your experiences?let us know both the celebrations and any scarey or unsatisfactory experiences.You can contact us on
change lives for many people who need a hoist to see to personal needs. In recent weeks a CP has been confirmed for Southport Cultural Centre, but you will have to wait till 2012. We are awaiting a CP in the World Museum, the new Liverpool Life , the Merseyferry Terminal at the Pierhead and possibly some of our major parks , including Croxteth Country Park, Calderstones.
Barrier to modern style more accessible cabs finally removed! ...
but only after 2 years exhausting campaigning and an estimated £200,000 legal costs for Liverpool after Council Leaders tried to defend the indefensible. Will there ever be an enquiry into how this was allowed to happen? Liverpool Licensing Committee met on Thursday 26th November 2009 2pm Millennium House
And FINALLY AGREED to the licensing of the Peugeot E7 as a Hackney cab to be used on the Streets of Liverpool!!!!
Big, big thanks for the help, advice and encouragement from so many people.
If neighbouring Knowsley is anything to go by, we will start having E7 taxis with their larger passenger areas, shallower ramps within a few months.
Please don’t sit back now we are finally successful with this .
Yes, this will be a new chapter for many in accessible door to door transport for Liverpool. But…..There is still so much more to do to make many more parts of our City, its homes, streets, shops, public buildings new and old, more accessible for all .
That’s even before we start looking at the key services provided by Social Services, hospitals and Liverpool Primary Care Trust, which are all very vulnerable to freezing and even cut backs, as accountants and finance directors look out for ‘savings’.
Let us know through MCIL , LWUG , ACSIL, Disability Network and other representative groups of your achievements and continuing challenges so we can get people working together effectively, including finding the parts of our own City Council who should be, and often are, wanting to help make this more of a achievable reality.
Licensing Committee meeting Thursday 2pm 26th November 2009 Millenium House
WE ARE NEARLY THERE! …..WE HOPE……. BUT we need your active support.
THIS IS WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS TO PHYSICALLY
GIVE YOUR SUPPORT ON NOVEMBER 26th 2009
It appears London Taxi International , LTI , the makers of the traditional London Cab are still shouting and are sending threatening letters to Liverpool City Council, saying amongst other things, that hardly anyone in Liverpool actually wants the larger multipurpose Peugeot E7 cab, and that virtually everyone’s wheelchair needs can be met by the cab that they sell, and accommodating people with larger wheelchairs... well…. it doesn’t matter. They are strangely choosing to ignore the Department of Transport's own research by Hitchcock et al , an important part of the High Court case in July 2009, showing clearly the increasing numbers of larger and more complex wheelchairs.
There are even reports of some wheelchair users in Liverpool bizarrely saying the same thing, so that although the Peugeot E7 is already making a difference and enjoyed in widespread successful and safe use across most of the UK (including in Sefton and Knowsley), WE IN LIVERPOOL must apparently be denied what the E7 has to offerso many people! Why??
Liverpool Licensing Team has now produced a report strongly recommending the E7 as a significant contribution to accessible travel as a multi-purpose taxi.This is the Team of Council Officers that advises the Councillors, but the Final decision must be made by a Committee of councillors on the 26th November 2009.
Here is the web link to the report and recent letters from LTI to our Council.
Liverpool Licensing Committee meets on Thursday 26th November 20092pm Millennium House
The Agenda includes reconsideration of Licensing for the Peugeot E7 cab.
We need wheelchair users there to remind the Councillors who make the Final Decision:
<o:p> How much difference access to modern larger size cabs would make to our own lives.
T at the Peugeot E7 offers a bigger size cab with the much larger flat floor area.
That we would welcome more space to travel safely with family and friends which the rest of the people of Liverpool take for granted.
That the shallower integral ramp does the job quickly and effectively with much less strain on the backs of our cab drivers and helpers.
We have been told that there are still those trying to block choice and use of the Peugeot E7
·Even now, there are reports of wheelchair users in our City who, for their own bizarre motives, want to actively block the Peugeot E7, even though it is successfully in use in 95% of the UK!
·We would like to point out that if they, and their friends and family, feel they can travel safely and easily in the smaller traditional cab, that’s fine, they would have a choice to carry on using traditional London Cabs – but many wheelchair users have great difficulty and cannot use them safely.
·We would ask how people and fellow wheelchair users can logically justify a position (that may yet be put forward at the Committee on the 26th November) of wishing to block and deny safe door to door taxi travel for the first time for some wheelchair users and easier travel for many others?
<o Liverpool City Council Licensing Officers have now issued a new report for the Council meeting strongly recommending the licensing of the E7 and resisting all the last minute threatening legal letters from LTI the makers of the traditional London cab.
2.Manufacturing and selling taxi cabs is a commercial business. For 95% of the UK, drivers buying and operating cabs have a choice of at least the London Cab and the Peugeot E7, thus giving the general public, disabled people and especially wheelchair users a choice of licensed vehicles. The choice works for much of the rest of the country, why not Liverpool?
3.What would change if the E7 was licensed in Liverpool? Well commercially, LTI would lose their effective monopoly in Liverpool and have to share the taxi sales market with others – this already happens in much of the rest of the UK. The obvious conclusion is that this is their strong motivation to try and block the licensing of the E7, and in doing so deny choice and access to safe travel for those larger wheelchairs. In a nutshell, they are trying to deny choice to disabled people because they don’t want to lose their current monopoly.
4. They are shamefully trying to deny access especially for the increasing number of people with larger wheelchairs who are unable to travel safely and secured in their own smaller size traditional cab design.
5.LTI have energetically spent at least the last 2 years trying to block the E7 from being licensed. Senior LTI staff were even noticed openly in the High Court in July 2009 talking at length with the solicitors and barristers of Liverpool City Council. These solicitors were paid for by the citizens of Liverpool, and should have been there representing the interests of the people of Liverpool, totally independent of the commercial interests, which LTI clearly has.
6.The result was the High Court Judge ‘wiped the floor’ with what was put before him, declaring that no acceptable evidence had been put before him that justified the unsubstantiated safety concerns expressed as reasons for previously blocking the E7 in Liverpool. These echoed those issues previously raised by LTI, that the E7 has sliding doors and is unable to meet the (now discredited) 27 ft turning circle requirement restriction.
London based TV presenter Lara Masters gives E7 taxi a gold star for access
'Personally, I am less worried that my cab can do a perfect pirouette than that it’s an accessible vehicle that can get me from A to B. Time for an uprising'- Lara Masters
At a cost of £470 million this may be needed but....
LWUG is writing to Derek Campbell CEO Liverpool PCT concerned there is no provision for an access consultant to work closely with the architects to ensure it is inclusive. Just promising to meet Part M of Building Regs is not enough.
The PCT have failed to demonstrate that Community Support Services,such as Social Workers, Direct payment schemes, therapists, nurses, equipment stores, wheelchair service have enough budget, staffing and working well together. This should be done before the Royal is 'signed off'.
June 2009 Accessible Taxi developments
Liverpool City Council will have to face the shame of Discrimination Charges in High Court
28th July 2009 is set to be ‘D’-Day for Liverpool City Council after the date was announced for a full hearing into charges that the Council has failed to meet its duties under the Disability Discrimination Act.
The case, to be heard at the High Court in London, centres on claims that the Council persists in blocking many wheelchair users from travelling safely in city taxis.
Alma Lunt is taking the action on behalf of many other disabled people across Liverpool.A coalition of local disability groups is campaigning to allow a new type of modern hackney cab that can safely accommodate many passengers with different needs and especially people needing space for larger wheelchairs.
Manufactured by wheelchair accessible vehicle specialists Allied Vehicles, the Peugeot E7 design has proved successful across 95% of the UK. Nottingham is only the latest city to approve the Peugeot E7 cab , which is also welcomed in every Merseyside borough, except Liverpool.The hackney-style cab is equipped with a shallow under-floor ramp, easy access step, high-visibility grab-handles and – crucially - a larger, level passenger area floor than is available in the traditional ‘London-style’ cab.
Facing disability discrimination charges in the High Court represents a major embarrassment for the City Council.Local disability groups, however, are deeply disappointed that it has proved necessary to pursue this test case in order to get the Council to listen to their views.
John Bruce, Secretary of Liverpool Wheelchair User Group, commented:“Despite its legal requirements to consult and consider the needs of local communities, the sad fact is that our own Council makes promises andCouncil leaders sign big publicdocuments about reducing barriers, but has bizarrely refused to listen to local disabled people on what is a crucial, safety-related issue which affectsthe lives of a great many local wheelchair users, and which won’t even cost the Council a penny. We all need some answers to the question why!
“Licensing the new-style cab simply gives a choice of vehicle to drivers”, continued John.“We have many great cabbies in Liverpool and we want to look after them better, with the choice of a vehicle with more space inside.The wheelchair ramp in tests has a shallower gradient, meaning less strain on the driver as well as less bumping and manoeuvring for a disabled person who needs to remain in their own chair when travelling.”
Wheelchair user Jean Price, of MCIL added: “We continue to explain our case, and won’t and can’t go away, as we have no alternative apart from staying marooned at home or travelling unsafely.
“At present many people with larger wheelchairs have to be left sideways, scarily unsecured when travelling in the smaller traditional London cabs.Whilst we would welcome a proposed new Mercedes cab on the streets of Liverpool, which we understand may come before the Licensing Committee soon, it unfortunately has little more wheelchair manoeuvring space to offer than the traditional London Cab.”
April 2009- Warmer weather is coming . Tell us about the places you go or want to go. How do you rate the accessibility? Let us know.
Nottingham sees sense and licenses E7
London, Manchester, Liverpool, Peterborough and Norwich. Last remaining Council licensing committees to still ignore the research and the evidence of shortcomings of smaller traditional taxis and still block modern taxis such as the E7 as a valuable vehicle that safely accomodates larger wheelchairs -
Feb 2009- Liverpool LINk launched
Come and join us
We meet monthly at Lifehouse,
in Summers Road,
Brunswick Business Park.
Liverpool L3 4BL
reception tel. 0151 296 7733
see LWUG News and Events page- top right for further details
see About LWUG page for contact details
LINks Liverpool LINk or Local Involvement Network is now launched. It is THE group commissioned and funded by Central Government to scrutinise ALL Health and Social Care activity in Liverpool.
Liverpool LINk is part of a national network of groups and individuals set up to make sure that health and social care services are planned and delivered to meet the needs of the people that use them. Start off by signing up for YOUR membership.