MP and local residents slam church over Age Concern access
Service users of a local charity have slammed the United Reformed Church for refusing to allow vehicle access through their car park, just weeks after local MP Margot James made a final plea to the church for help.
Age Concern Stourbridge and Halesowen currently have no vehicle access to the Elton Centre due to ongoing bridge replacement works on Parkfield Road. Elderly and disabled clients have been forced to make their own way to the service from nearby public car parks.
Local service users have now joined with the MP and charity staff to call for the church to rethink their refusal to allow access.
Service user Jean Hill said “The church should be compassionate and want to help residents access this service yet they won’t allow Age Concern to use their car park for just a few hours of the day.”
Margot James said “I’m very disappointed by the church’s reaction to our request. To say that it is a health and safety issue misses the point. Age Concern’s clients only want to drive through their car park to get to their own car park just until the bridge works are complete – they don’t want to enter the church itself at any point.”
“I would expect any church to show some understanding and at least make an offer to the charity to allow them to open up the car park to allow access to vulnerable or disabled people as required.”