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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 September, 2004, 11:41 GMT 12:41 UK
1.5m pledged for disabled access
Man in wheelchair using an accessible desk
The council has had 200 buildings assessed for changes needed
An extra 1.5m has been pledged by councillors to make public buildings in Surrey accessible to disabled people.

Libraries, youth centres and adult learning centres are among about 200 buildings which will be improved.

The announcement by Surrey County Council coincided with the final phase of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) being brought in this week.

The act means many businesses may have to make physical alterations to their premises to overcome access barriers.

Three year plan

The county council is to spend a total of 3m making improvements to its buildings.

It had already pledged to spend 1.5m and councillors agreed at a meeting on Tuesday night to double the sum.

This money will go directly to those buildings that are valued most by the public
Peter Langham, councillor

The council has been working on adjustment to buildings since the first stage of the DDA was introduced in 1995.

The implementation of the third stage on Friday means all councils have to show how they plan to upgrade disabled access to their buildings.

Surrey County Council plans to complete improvements to its buildings within three years.

Councillor Peter Langham said: "This final phase will ensure that every single service is available to every single resident - bar none.

"We're not talking about staff offices either - this money will go directly to those buildings that are valued most by the public.

"There is no point in providing services if we can only provide them for the majority of people, it is our job to ensure everybody can get access to high-quality public services."


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