More than £1 million spent on making Crawley accessible for disabled


More than £1million was spent on making Crawley accessible for disabled people in the last year.

Crawley Borough Council (CBC) spent £1,057,356 on disabled adaptations in houses in the financial year 2013/14 so far.

Disabled council house tenants were provided with £963,339 worth of adaptations. This paid for more than 270 adaptations in more than 200 properties.

The figures were revealed in CBC’s annual accounts. As the financial year will not finish until the end of April the total amount spent will increase slightly.

CBC gave £423,734 in Disabled Facilities Grants for adaptations carried out in 81 privately owned properties.

The council received a government grant for these of £329,717. CBC funded the extra £94,017.

The most common adaptations were wet rooms, ramps and stair lifts.

The amount spent this year was higher than that spent in the previous two financial years.

In 2011/12, £815,993 was spent, while £685,766 was spent in 2012/13.

CBC also spent £3,800 on its annual subscription to DisabledGo.

This is a website which provides information on access to public buildings around the town, making it easier for people with disabilities to plan their days out.

The Crawley Town Access Group (TAG) played a large role in setting up and running this site.

Chris Cheshire, chair of TAG, said in comparison to other towns, Crawley was very accessible for the disabled.

She said had added to that.

She said: “Over 500 venues in Crawley are now covered with detailed disabled access information, given via a mixture of text and symbols.

“The largest venues, such as the Hawth, K2 and the football stadium, have several pages of information, including photos.”

A council spokesperson said: “We invest in these adaptations to enable residents with mobility issues to remain in their homes for much longer than they would otherwise be able to.

“The changes made improve access in and around the home and help with the use of essential facilities.

“Adaptations are only carried out following a recommendation from the Occupational Therapy Service.”