Mums lead disabled chidren's rights campaigners on march through Barry
9:27am Thursday 3rd July 2014 in News
MORE than 100 protestors marched to the Vale Council’s Civic offices, following a Barry mum’s plea for adapted housing to be built for her disabled son.
Families and supporters joined mum-of-two Ruby Nash, who last week told the Barry & District News, that her four-year-old son Cody Froud needed a house catering for his needs – having been diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in April 2013.
The 26-year-old, of St Catherine’s Court, Gibbonsdown, organised the rally to draw attention to the lack of housing being built and available to cater for disabled children.
Gladstone primary school pupil Cody faces becoming wheelchair bound in a few years time as his genetic condition progressively makes his muscles weaken.
The Vale Council initially told Miss Nash no-one would be available to talk as, she said, “everyone was in a meeting,” but she eventually was able to meet Cllr Lis Burnett.
Karen Davies, 57, whose granddaughter Blisse was diagnosed with the rare brain disorder Periventricular Nodular Heterotopia, and has epileptic fits, said: “I don’t think the council is facing up to its responsibilities. They are building houses all the time and none are adapted.”
She said Blisse was coming up to five years of age and had to be carried upstairs to have a bath.
Karen added: “They are all conveniently in a meeting and saying there’s no funding, but the funding is available from the Welsh Government. They should do the jobs they are paid for.”
Mum Koral Clarke, 26, of Laleston Close, Gibbonsdown, whose six-year-old son Ieuan, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy said: “It’s important because our kids are disabled so why are they running the risk of keeping them in these properties.
“I have been through the mill and this is just the icing on the cake. If they could relieve the housing situation my life would be easier. He can’t even go in the garden.”
Mum Ruby, following her meeting with Cllr Lis Burnett, added: “She’s going to take it to the Cabinet. I will not give up. This march may be over, but the fight is not.”
Following the protest, the Vale Council repeated its statement, made to the Barry & District News last week.
A spokesman said the council did everything it could to enable tenants with disabilities to stay in their own homes and in the past five years the Vale Council had spent more than £2.6 million in adapting existing housing stock and was committed to spending a further £445,000 in the current financial year.
He said: “Council controlled housing stock in the Vale consists mostly of post-war properties that were built to a different specification and size standard than is common today. This makes complex or large scale adaptations, such as a through floor lift, impossible in the vast majority of our properties. In these cases the only option is to house tenants in purpose built properties within new developments.
“In the last four years the Vale of Glamorgan Council has allocated 134 new properties to tenants needing more suitable housing. We have also purpose built seven properties on new developments. Each individually tailored to meet a tenant’s complex needs.
“This approach allows us to deliver exactly what our tenants need. However, the number of properties that can be built is greatly limited by the small number of new developments in the Vale.
"Custom building homes is a lengthy process. We work very hard to accommodate families as best as possible in the interim and do everything possible to expedite the process.
"Ultimately it is the only way that we can provide those in great need with a suitable lifetime home.”
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