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Group pleas for help with tram stop
8:00pm Friday 23rd August 2013 in Local News
A GROUP which is bringing back a derelict tram stop into community use has asked why it can’t get any council money to help with the upkeep of the council-owned building.
Volunteers are helping to bring Thorpe Bay’s Tram Stop Shelter back to life after 35 years of neglect.
Bob Craven, chairman of the project, has e-mailed every member of Southend Council’s cabinet outlining the benefits the project will bring in the hope that some money can be found for it – especially in light of the £200,000 given to the Lower Thames Rowing Club for a new boathouse in Leigh.
The shelter will remain council owned but it the plan it will be leased by the group – who will refurbish the building.
Mr Craven says many local schools and sports clubs have been in touch saying they want to use the shelter. The police will also be able to use it for surgeries and as a building to work from.
It wants to install a disabled ramp for access to the shelter from the beach.
Mr Craven wrote to the councillors: “No longer will groups of disabled people have to seek shelter in expensive cafes, pubs or amusement arcades when it rains.
“Our research shows that large numbers of disabled people are unable to enjoy our seafront because of lack of access and comfort. Some local disabled people have not been on the beach during the 25 years they have lived here. That is not right.”
The council wants the group to provide £1,000 for maintenance of the disabled ramp, as well as paying for an upgrade of the electricity in the building.
Mr Craven said: “With the ramp, we shouldn’t have to pay to maintain something that the council should have put in themselves in the first place.”
Independent councillors including Mike Stafford and Brian Ayling are supporting the call. Nobody from the council was available for comment.
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