Ian Westgate who is unhappy that the refurbishment of Langney shopping centre in Eastbourne does not include a disabled toilet (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-190404-093715008

Langney Shopping Centre hits bum note over toilet issue

I am absolutely cock-a-hoop that Langney Shopping Centre is getting a much-needed makeover, writes Annemarie Field. As an anklebiter, I lived in Kingfisher Drive when it first opened way back when – so realise that, like me, it’s getting on a bit and could do with a facelift, uplift, or just a new lease of life. That is now happening and millions are being spent on extending the 1970s building with more shops, a gym and new homes. But alas, no accessible toilets. In the plans you would expect an inside toilet for wheelchair users and mums and dads that need to change their little ones’ nappies. Currently, people needing accessible facilities have to go out of the entrance by Barclays, hang a right past Dominoes and the Kingfisher Pub and around the corner to the back of the pub and then, only if they have a special Radar key, can they get in and spend a penny or use the baby changing facility inside. The disabled toilet (and baby change) has always been outside the building and as such a disabled person often has to brave all weather conditions to go round the outside of the building to access it. That’s no fun if you are in a wheelchair or on a scooter when it’s blowing a gale or raining. There is some good news this week from the centre management though that says it is looking at striking a deal with the new gym owners so customers might be able to use their disabled access toilet if and when it opens. Like I say, some light at the end of the tunnel, but crazy in this day and age. Almost as crazy as the fact that wheelchair users visiting the Devonshire Park Theatre STILL have to use a side entrance at the bottom of a slope and there’s STILL no disabled entrance. But that’s for another day.

Diary of a Sussex Newbie SUS-181228-115116001

Diary of a Sussex Newbie - legs and limps…

There’s a bit of a medical theme going on here at the moment. Life in Sussex necessarily requires a lot more physicality than life in the city did – particularly since our rescue dog, Bessie, joined the family.

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