Not on any Eastbourne Borough Council or East Sussex County Council or most estate agents or chartered surveyors websites is it revealed that 3,119 residential freeholders and leaseholders of Sovereign Harbour property must pay a unique Annual Estate Rentcharge of £263.55 per residential unit for 2020 in addition to council taxes, property insurance, management fees and ground rents. Nor is it stated that in no other flood area or harbour or marina area or private estate anywhere else in Britain, the UK, Europe or the world is this Annual Estate Tax similarly payable. Part of it is for Environment Agency-provided flood defence. A much wider flood zone area than just Sovereign Harbour is involved, affecting more than 15,500 homes from Eastbourne to Bexhill on Sea, 8 miles east. But the Sovereign Harbour Trust and Premier Marinas, both owned by The Wellcome Trust, make only landowning or leasing Sovereign Harbour residents and their successors pay it, not neighboring communities equally affected, or businesses including managing agents and property developers. This makes Sovereign Harbour the only place in the UK, Britain and the world with both such a unique and unfair combined resident-subsidized harbour charge and Environment Agency-levied surcharge. A second unique covenant requires owners/leaseholders of 369 South Harbour properties in the water feature precinct to pay a further annual charge of of more than £328. It is the only such water feature in the world that applies such a charge to properties adjacent to or overlooking it. Notice about this second covenant is also withheld by most estate agents from prospective buyers of relevant Sovereign Harbour South properties.
|Sovereign Harbour||Annual Estate Rentcharge||Council Tax Wrongs||Emails||Pensioners Concerns||Property Guidelines|
By Keith A. Forbes. He and his wife live in Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne. Keith, a disabled journalist, is an activist for the rights of the disabled and elderly, a member of relevant mutually linked international organizations, and a member of the UK's The Society of Authors.
2020 Chairperson. Keith Forbes. Phone 01323 471090. Or write to ESHDA, Flat 18, 16 San Diego Way, Sovereign Harbour North, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 5BG, England. email@example.com. At this time, members meet mostly by email.
We are not the only voluntary Eastbourne Disability Group but the only Sovereign Harbour-based one (in the town of Eastbourne but a separate community three miles east of the town). Other local disability-focused groups claims they challenge the barriers accessing services and the local environment faced by disabled people living with any impairment, as well as their carers and families. But we are clearly the only group not content to merely accept current situation but as activists are more than willing, able and prepared to do our bit to right disability and related wrongs by writing about it nationally and internationally in hope of at last shaming our authorities and members of parliament of all political stripes to finally get the UK to enact disability-friendly legislation in the same ways as the European Union, Canada, the USA, Australia, etc have done. We show much of what needs to be done in items 1-14 below.
Sovereign Harbour is the most easterly of the Eastbourne electoral wards. For over the last two years and until October 2019, due to extensive Eastbourne downtown construction the town is presently one of the most disabled-unfriendly locales in the UK for our members who are severely disabled and/or elderly and frail. Before 2017 it was possible for those Sovereign Harbour residents to use a number 5 or 5a hourly bus to go downtown and get off and back on the bus at the same stance D bus stop very close to the Beacon shopping mall. But now, going into town involves a massively disabled-unfriendly cross-town walk to get to the Beacon and going back home means an appreciably longer walk than before to get to the relevant newly-numbered stance on Terminal Road, now located so much further from the Beacon than before. Also, for the mobility-impaired who need a walking stick or crutches to get around Eastbourne, thee town has many pavements that are uneven, have been repaired often and are simply not safe to walk upon without risk of falling and injury. And in more difficulties for the disabled their disabled parking areas are being reduced in the Eastbourne 2019-2020 re-zoning plan.
Concessionary free bus service into Eastbourne for the elderly and disabled is not available until 0930 hours, meaning many cannot make it to town on the 5 or 5a buses until nearly 10 am, then have to walk further than before as mentioned above.
UK's disability laws and regulations protecting the disabled are poor in comparison, as we show below. See http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/DisabledPeople/RightsAndObligations/DisabilityRights/DG_4001068. Minister of the Disabled is Sarah Newton, MP, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone 020 7219 7174 at House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
The current UK law, the Equality Act 2010 - see www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents - which replaced the earlier Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), is a watered down version of the DDA; does not help disabled people living in Britain in the way the much more robust Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) - see http://www.ada.gov - does. Here in the UK, the legal and social welfare systems for the disabled badly need updating and improving. Yet local disability groups are not making waves, are not demanding legislative changes at local authority and national parliamentary levels. There is no comparison with the USA's powerful and effective Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar in Europe, Canada and beyond. (In Canada see http://www.ccdonline.ca/en/socialpolicy/fda/1006). The lack of UK legislative teeth has so infuriated some overseas visitors that they have complained publicly (see our Emails). We get them because we are networked with overseas groups. We have a World Wide Website duty to let all disabled visitors to the Eastbourne area who are long-used to disability provisions in their own countries being protected by law both in the public and private sectors, know they should not believe that similar comprehensive disability laws apply here. They do not, as we demonstrate clearly in numbers 1-16 in the following pages. As we show in several areas, unlike the legal protections routinely offered the disabled by the police throughout the EU, North America, etc, we get no such protection from the police or local authorities here in the UK.
For Tower of London, see https://www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london/visit/accessibility/#gs.WuiWzg8
Here in the UK, there is no legally-required disability-friendly physical equal access under the Equality Act despite its name, to any shops, stores, public buildings historic or otherwise for disabled people. They merely require owners of public and private buildings including churches to make "reasonable changes." See https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/law-and-courts/discrimination/what-are-the-different-types-of-discrimination/duty-to-make-reasonable-adjustments-for-disabled-people/. But in the USA, see https://www.access-board.gov/attachments/article/1350/adaag.pdf), also Canada, Europe and beyond, it is a legal requirement that all public and private building developments including hotels and those on historical registers must be fully accessible to the registered disabled.
In the UK, national, regional and local government-regulated private and public-sector owned buildings used for residential accommodation of the disabled, elderly or mobility-impaired do not specifically require accommodation units to be disabled-friendly in accessibility or have lifts (elevators) or banisters on both sides of staircases or above-ground or below-ground garaged or disabled parking based on a certain number of non-disabled car parking spaces, unlike in the European Union, USA and elsewhere. Nor is there any legal requirement that areas outside the buildings that are not assigned car parking spaces be kept clear at all times for emergency vehicles.
UK planning laws are governed mostly by local authorities, with only limited oversight by national legislation and make no formal disability requirements whatsoever in private sector building development or ongoing maintenance or redevelopment. Only Northern Ireland is somewhat more disabled-friendly, for new buildings only. Further, beyond the UK, whenever and wherever any public or private building or civic improvement or town planning works or town or city or other municipal entity occur, when affecting in any way anyone with a certifiable disability, a statutory minimum written notice of at least one calendar month is required. Not so here in the UK where there is no stated minimum-time requirement.
Visitors to the UK who are disabled and UK residents are rarely able to go by tube or subway in London where so few tube stations have lifts and ramps.
In the USA all who are registered as permanently-disabled carry a state-issued but nationally accepted identification card with their photograph, contact details and type of disability shown on it. (For a sample of what one US state (Illinois) does, see https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/identification-cards-people-disabilities). In the European Union and certain other countries, similar identity cards are issued. Thus they can prove they are disabled and as such are entitled to use disabled facilities including having cars pre-registered for disability tolls exemption and other relevant services both nationwide and abroad.
No such registration exists at national or county (local authority) level for any UK-based disabled. Which means that when moving house from one UK local authority area to another, or applying for disability or seniors disability benefits or concessions from a new area, the disabled have to reapply each time, using the cumbersome method for each application of sending a copy of the official disability letter issued at national level. Making matters worse is that each local authority has different regulations. There are several private-sector Disabled Identification and/or Access card issuers, each claiming their cards, issued yearly or for three years, at a cost of £10-£15 per person, are accepted by various organizations, but to date they have not said specifically that they are accepted by councils or local authorities in lieu of your official eligibility letter. All the latter will still require you, when applying for applicable benefits or concessions, to send relevant copies of your eligibility letter. So the private-sector disability identification card may not be of much value-for-money use.
Such a council or local authority-issued - legal government ID -Disability Identification Card should include:
For disabled individuals who qualify. Issued by local authorities (councils). The UK's Blue Badge Scheme is the equivalent to the USA's (free of charge) Physically Handicapped Parking Permit. A change to national legislation in 2007 allowed Councils to charge up to £20 for issuing or renewing Blue Badges. For those who do not have the appropriate documentation such as the Disability Living Allowance at the Higher Rate, which entitles them automatically to a Disabled Parking Badge (DPB), local Councils now make you go through a procedure get one.
There are no legally-required Disability/Handicapped Parking areas in any non-public supermarket, shopping malls, residential areas or other non-council parking places. In the UK, only in an area where charges are made for (public) parking is it an offence, under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1984 if a person parks in a designated parking space without a blue badge; and then only for parking incorrectly, namely failing to observe "blue badge only" restrictions, not for deliberately depriving a blue badge holder of such spaces. There is no national government or council or local authority ability to impose a fine. Disabled parking bays in all non-public areas are provided on an advisory basis only and rely on the cooperation, but no more, of local non-disabled motorists not to use them. Because they are not legally enforceable there are constant reports of disabled parking badges abuses but nothing is done by local or national authorities or police. It is estimated that for every one able driver who obeys the signs, three do not. Such spaces are deemed to be private, not in the public domain. Shopping centres and their stores hire a private car parking company to monitor parking but clearly this is money wasted because nothing much if at all is ever done to make miscreant motorists pay dearly it it only very rarely that it will issue a parking summons. Those in the UK who need such disabled parking spaces endure some particularly rough times when they complain to offending motorists, with flagrant deliberate abuse of disabled parking signs when shopping at Aldi, ASDA, Lidl, Morrisons, Tesco and elsewhere in Eastbourne. This totally appalls visiting Americans, Australians, Europeans and others who stay at Eastbourne hotels or in private homes. In their home countries, police are empowered to ticket abusers.
Police in Eastbourne will not prosecute Disabled Parking Permit violators, unlike abroad. In comparison, here is how New Jersey, USA does it. See http://www.nj.gov/mvc/pdf/Vehicles/DDS-guide.pdf. Other US states have similar laws. Note the comprehensiveness of New Jersey and other states laws and regulations protecting residents of that state and the fines applicable, a minimum of $250 for the first offence with subsequent offences each $250 and up to 90 days community service for non-compliance, plus with their vehicles taken to a tow-away zone and the costs that entails. Every US state has something similar. Note also how a qualified disabled person can summon a Police Officer to assist. Registered disabled persons can request law enforcement officers to arrange for the removal to tow-away zones of vehicles unlawfully parked in handicapped parking spaces or zones. Law enforcement officers can enforce handicapped parking on both public and private property. Further, if someone who does not have a disability uses a disabled persons permit or licence plates, or misuses one of someone who has died, the motor vehicle licensing authority that licensed that vehicle can revoke that licence or deny renewal. Additionally, in the USA, the disabled and/or their accompanying carers (caregivers) who are doing the driving are exempted for up to 24 hours from the issuance of penalties for parking in a disabled space for up to 24 hours beyond the normal allocated times, providing they have the required placard or license plate. But none of these apply in the UK. Councils and storeowners with disability parking all have time limits of no more than three hours. Councils should require all UK police law enforcement officers in their jurisdiction, as they do in USA and Canada, to have powers to ticket Blue Badge offenders. Here in the UK, police are not law enforcement officers but act only as community service officers. Interestingly, UK visitors in particular to the USA, Canada, Europe, etc. who are not disabled and believe they can ignore Disabled (Handicapped) Parking regulations there as they do habitually in the UK have been fined heavily and have become a significant source of income to those jurisdictions. In view of their own financial hardships, councils here in the UK should make Blue Badge miscreants pay dearly for each time of an offence. Currently, in the UK a disabled person deprived of a disabled parking space by a miscreant means no or minimal punishment for the scofflaw but persons with dogs visiting graveyards can be fined up to £400 by their council for allowing their dogs to foul a graveyard.
In his letter dated 4 May 2006 addressed to the writer of this website, Bert Massie CBE, then Chairman of the UK's Disability Rights Commission - said in part: "I have experienced the strong enforcement exercised in the USA and Canada which ensures that parking bays for disabled motorists are only occupied by those people for whom they were designed. I would certainly welcome similar legislation in this country. As a wheelchair user myself and a driver I too am constantly frustrated by non-disabled people stealing disabled people's parking bays. The growing anger of disabled people is entirely understandable and I have called on several occasions for stronger law enforcement."
UK laws to protect the disabled from misuse of signed disabled parking places are minimal when compared to laws in the USA, Canada, European Union and elsewhere.
Councils, most of which rarely charge offenders should bring penalties for deliberate abuse up to international code, not the pathetic £60 now, if imposed at all. Make it a minimum of £160 - the average in every state of the USA, for first offence, double that for the second, triple plus impoundment of vehicle for the third. Only when scofflaws realize it carries a heavy penalty will they stop. Councils that complain they are short of funds could make £ millions by imposing fines on disabled parking offenders.
When abuse - now legislated a disability hate crime - is directed to a disabled person in Eastbourne by someone who is does not have a disabled parking badge yet parks there in defiance of the latter, or for any other disabled-related injustice, that disabled person so abused should make a note of the offending vehicle's license plate number or home or working address and report it by telephone or fax or email to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). See http://cps.gov.uk/. The nearest CPS office is in Hove, Brighton, at City Gate, 185 Dyke Road, Hove. East Sussex BN3 1TL. Tel: 01273 765600. Fax: 01273 765606.
As an example of such a Disability Hate Crime offence note that on 14/02/2017 a man was given a three month community order, after shouting and swearing at a disabled woman, after she challenged him about whether he had a permit to park in a disabled bay in New Ash Green. The victim, who uses two crutches to walk and is registered disabled, saw a car parked in the bay outside a doctor's surgery, but it was not displaying a blue badge parking permit, so she asked the man in the car if he had a permit. Billy Coleman then screamed abuse at the woman, related to her disability, making this a disability hate crime. He drove off, but was tracked down, after the woman remembered his number plate and asked a passer-by to write the details down. Mr. Coleman was also given an electronic curfew between 10:00pm and 6:00am for 48 days and this additional part of the sentence was only imposed because this offence was classed as a disability hate crime. This is known as a sentencing uplift, which increases the sentence for any offence where a defendant showed hostility or an offence is shown to have been motivated by hostility based on age, disability, homophobia and transphobia or racist and/or religious grounds. He was also ordered to pay £310 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Chief Crown Prosecutor Jaswant Narwal said: "Disability hate crime is an insidious crime, where the victims are often those least able to defend themselves. This is why they are taken so seriously and sentencing uplifts, which recognise the hostility shown by the defendant, are imposed in these cases. Sadly, incidents such as this are not uncommon. For example, in another case recently, a man spat in the face of a disabled man, who was injured while serving with the Royal Air Force, in an attack over disabled parking spaces. These spaces are for reserved those who have been allocated permits because of their disabilities and it is extremely disturbing that we still have people who refuse to accept this and then abuse those who have a right to use them."
Blue Badge Parking for disabled people, House of Commons. See http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN01360/SN01360.pdf
Blue Badge Disabled Parking Restrictions in rest of UK, getting worse, not better. More and more councils were allowing Disabled Parking concessions only to those whose tax disc showed their vehicles were in the disabled tax class. But when the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) stopped issuing tax discs and moved instead to electronic records, many councils are now requiring all Blue Badge holders to bring their vehicle's V5C Registration Certificate (log book) and to register individually with them, for a fee of course. But all Motability customers (including these authors) don't have V5Cs because Motability retains them. Motability will allow its customers to obtain a copy but councils should not be imposing such new restrictions on the disabled.
Cases in point include the Cornwall Council, Borough of Poole and Bournemouth.
In other councils, for example, Rother District Council, Christchurch and East Dorset, special permits are now needed before Blue Badge Holders can park for free, not all day, in council car parks. And in the English Lake District, only the first half hour is free. Disabled drivers with Blue Badges, are advised to avoid the Lake District because there are often either very few places or none at all available in Lake District towns.
In huge contrast, in Scotland, disabled parking for permit holders is free all day.
Disabled or Health Condition affecting Driving. See https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving.
Parking Control, see http://www.ukparkingcontrol.com/disabled-parking
Parking for Disabled People. See http://www.ukroads.org/webfiles/TAL%205-95%20Parking%20for%20Disabled%20People.pdf
Providing Accessible Parking. See Parkingguide(finalwordversion).doc. Also has useful guides provided by the Department of Transport for the number of Disabled Parking Spaces in any one development based on the total number of parking spaces and how they should be signed and bordered.
UKPC Disabled Parking. See http://www.ukparkingcontrol.com/disabled-parking
However, note that residential disabled car parking spaces provided under the Disabled Car Parking Space scheme are advisory only, and have no legal standing (unlike in the USA, Europe, etc). Their use relies on the good will of people in the community. Be aware this may cost the applicant. In the UK it will not be for your use only. Anyone else who has a Disabled Parking Badge can park there.
Be aware that even you are disabled in accordance with the above criteria but live in a flat or terraced house in a private off-street development where there is a common driveway but no garage and have an assigned regular (not disabled) parking space not wide enough for a disabled person to access or exit safely, you may still not qualify for a disabled parking space. The Council cannot intervene in the matter because here in the UK, unlike in the EU or Canada or USA, etc. there are no national or local authority residential or planning regulations requiring private properties to provide genuinely-disabled persons with disabled parking. Only in public areas or on public streets is this required.
In all the residential areas of Sovereign Harbour there are NO disabled legally enforceable parking spaces. Unfortunately, the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council do not follow the example of European Union, USA and Canadian jurisdictions in requiring developers of private-area properties to have the same disability parking laws and provisions as in public or town or city areas.
Disabled visitors will not find, when on business or vacation anywhere in the UK, disability legal protections equivalent to or better than laws applicable where they come from. The few laws or regulations that do apply are routinely ignored and there is no local or central or national authority to enforce them unless (a) the offences occurred in a public, not private place and (b) the local authority have the power and the will to enforce them vigorously. In nine cases out of 10 this is not possible and will not happen.
In the USA and elsewhere, property tax exemptions or heavy discounts for the disabled seniors, those over 65, are common, see those in Florida at http://floridarevenue.com/dor/property/brochures/pt110.pdf,also Washington State at http://dor.wa.gov/docs/pubs/prop_tax/seniorexempt.pdf and Georgia at http://www.georgialegalaid.org/resource/property-tax-relief-for-seniors-and-veterans as merely three examples of what all American states without exception and their local authorities have long been offering routinely to their senior citizens over 65 mostly when earning under US$50,000 annually, the disabled of any age and military veterans. Barbados, Bermuda, Canada, and European countries have followed the US example. There, they either no longer charge their disabled or over 65 year old owner-residents any council-tax equivalent property taxes if below a certain taxable value or apply a generous discount of up to 50%. In stark contrast, most elderly in the UK who are home owners or renters get no Council Tax relief at all unless they are either earning a means-tested minimum income to qualify or, if (a) disabled and (b) can qualify in one-band facilities requirements where they live.
Cap on USA's Property Tax payments for seniors: See https://www.cga.ct.gov/2003/olrdata/pd/rpt/2003-R-0873.htm.
See below for automatic property tax exemptions in USA on a state-by-state basis for disabled military veterans who once served in the US Armed Forces:
Minimum Disability Requirement
|Alabama||A disabled veteran in Alabama may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service and has a net annual income of $12,000 or less. Exemptions differ between the state and counties, click here for detailed information.|
|Alaska||A disabled veteran in Alaska may receive a property tax exemption of up to the first $150,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 50 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption transfers to a surviving spouse if the veteran is deceased from a service connected cause.|
|Arizona||A disabled veteran in Arizona may receive a property tax exemption of $3,000 on his/her primary residence if the total assessed value does not exceed $10,000.|
|Arkansas||A disabled veteran in Arkansas may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is blind in one or both eyes, lost the use of one or more limbs or is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|California||There are two categories for full property tax exemptions. Qualified veterans may receive a basic exemption if the assessed value does not exceed $100,000; or a low income exemption if the assessed value does not exceed $150,000 when the household income does not exceed $40,000. Both categories are for full property tax exemptions.|
|Colorado||A disabled veteran in Colorado may receive a property tax exemption of 50 percent of the first $200,000 of the actual value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled. A property tax deferral exists for eligible veterans over the age of 65 and for active duty personnel.|
|Connecticut||All eligible veterans in Connecticut may receive a property tax exemption of $1,500 from the total assessed value of his/her property if the veteran served at least 90 days of active duty during wartime and are honorably discharged. Veterans below a certain income level and/or disabled veterans are eligible for additional exemptions. Contact your municipality’s Tax Assessor for specific details.|
|Delaware||There are currently no state-mandated property tax exemptions for disabled veterans in Delaware.|
|Florida||A disabled veteran in Florida may receive a property tax exemption of $5,000 on any property he/she owns if 10 percent or more disabled from a result of service. If the veteran is 100% disabled as a result from service then he/she may receive a full property tax exemption.|
|Georgia||A disabled veteran in Georgia may receive a property tax exemption of $60,000 or more on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled, depending on a fluctuating index rate set by the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs. The 2016 amount is $63,780; property in excess of this exemption remains taxable.|
|Hawaii||A disabled veteran in Hawaii may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|Idaho||A disabled veteran in Idaho may receive a property tax exemption up to $1,320 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 10 percent or more disabled as a result of service and reported total income of $29,640 or less in 2016.|
|Illinois||A qualified disabled veteran in Illinois with a disability of at least 30-50% will receive a $2,500 reduction in EAV; those with 50-70% can receive a $5,000 exemption; and those with 70% or more pay no property tax.|
|Indiana||A disabled veteran in Indiana may receive a property tax exemption of up to $37,440 if the veteran served honorably during any period of wartime and is 100% disabled as a result from service, or is at least 62 years of age with at least a 10% service-connected disability.|
|Iowa||A veteran in Iowa may receive a property tax exemption of $1,852 on his/her primary residence if the veteran served on active duty during a period of war or for a minimum of 18 months during peacetime. A disabled veteran in Iowa may receive a full property tax exemption if the veteran is 100% disabled as a result from service.|
|Kansas||A disabled veteran or qualifying family member in Kansas may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 50 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount is determined based on income.|
|Kentucky||Homeowners 65 and older or totally disabled as determined by a government agency in Kentucky may receive a property tax exemption of up to$36,900 on his/her primary residence.|
|Louisiana||A disabled veteran in Louisiana may receive a property tax exemption of up to the first $150,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|Maine||A disabled veteran in Maine may receive a property tax exemption of up to $6,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 62 years or older or is 100 percent disabled.|
|Maryland||A disabled veteran in Maryland may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|Massachusetts||A disabled veteran in Massachusetts may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if all qualifications are met. To qualify, one must be at least 10% disabled, must have lived in MA for 6 months prior to enlisting and have lived in the state for 5 consecutive years. An exemption of $400 may be received if the veteran is 10 percent or more disabled, a Purple Heart Recipient or Gold Star parent. A $750 exemption may be received if the veteran lost the use of one hand, one foot or one eye; $1,250 if the veteran lost the use of both hands, both feet or a combination of the two, or if the veteran is blind in both eyes as a result of service. A veteran may receive a $1,500 exemption if 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The MA Department of Revenue prepared a full overview of local exemptions.|
|Michigan||A disabled veteran in Michigan may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The state also offers a homestead tax credit and property tax relief for active military personnel.|
|Minnesota||A disabled veteran in Minnesota may receive a property tax exemption of up to $300,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as result of service. Veterans with a disability rating of 70 percent or more may receive an exemption of up to $150,000. Surviving spouses of military personnel are eligile to receive a $300,000 exclusion.|
|Mississippi||A disabled veteran in Mississippi may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the assessed value is $7,500 or less and the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|Missouri||A disabled veteran in Missouri may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is a former Prisoner of War and is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|Montana||A disabled veteran in Montana may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount varies based on income and marital status, as determined by the Montana Department of Revenue.|
|Nebraska||A disabled veteran in Nebraska may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100% disabled as a result of wartime service.|
|Nevada||A disabled veteran in Nevada may receive a property tax exemption of up to $20,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 60 percent or more disabled as a result of service.|
|New Hampshire||A disabled veteran in New Hampshire may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled, has lost two or more limbs or is blind in both eyes as a result of service. A disabled veteran that is 100 percent disabled may receive a tax credit of $700.|
|New Jersey||A disabled veteran in New Jersey may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of wartime service.|
|New Mexico||A disabled veteran in New Mexico may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of wartime service. Any veteran may qualify for a $4,000 reduction if the veteran served a minimum of 90 days consecutive active duty and was honorably discharged.|
|New York||A disabled veteran in New York may receive one of three different property tax exemptions on his/her primary residence. The exemption amount varies based on type of service, disability as determined by the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs and the value of the exemption as determined by the county or municipality.|
|North Carolina||A disabled veteran in North Carolina may receive a property tax exemption of up to the first $45,000 of the appraised value of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|North Dakota||A paraplegic disabled veteran in North Dakota may receive a property tax exemption for the first $120,000 on his/her primary residence or if the veteran has been awarded specially adapted housing. A disabled veteran with a rating of 50% or greater may receive an exemption against the first $6,750 of the taxable valuation.|
|Ohio||A disabled veteran in Ohio may receive a property tax exemption up to $50,000 of the market value on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|Oklahoma||A disabled veteran in Oklahoma may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The Oklahoma 100% Veteran Disability Tax Exemption applies to sales tax, excise tax and ad valorem tax.|
|Oregon||A disabled veteran or surviving spouse in Oregon may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 40 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount varies annually according to income and increases by 3% each year. The 2016 exemption amounts are $20,158 or $24,191.|
|Pennsylvania||A disabled veteran in Pennsylvania may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of wartime service. To be eligible a veteran must prove financial need, which according to the state is income less than $87,212. Veterans whose income exceeds that value may still be eligible.|
|Rhode Island||A disabled veteran in Rhode Island may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence. The exemption amount varies based on county, the value of the property and the exemption category that the veteran qualifies for. There are seven categories: Veterans’ regular exemption, Unmarried Widow of Qualified Veteran, Totally Disabled Veteran, Partially Disabled Veteran, Gold Star Parents’ exemption, Prisoner of War exemption and Specially Adapted Housing exemption.|
|South Carolina||A disabled veteran in South Carolina may receive a full property tax exemption if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The disability rating from the Department of Veterans Affairs must include one of the following conditions: paraplegia, hemiplegia or quadriplegia, Parkinsons, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). A Homestead exemption is available for all persons over 65 and/or totally and permanently disabled.|
|South Dakota||A disabled veteran in South Dakota may receive a property tax exemption of up to $100,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. Paraplegic veterans may receive a full propery tax exemption.|
|Tennessee||A disabled veteran in Tennessee may receive a property tax exemption on the first $100,000 of his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled and has lost the use of two or more limbs or is blind in both eyes as a result of service. The exemption amount varies by county.|
|Texas||A totally disabled veteran in Texas may receive a full property tax exemption if the veteran receives 100% disability compensation from the VA and a rating of 100% disabled unemployability. Partially disabled veterans and those over the age of 65 may receive a property tax exemption based on their disability rating and age up to $12,000.|
|Utah||A disabled veteran in Utah may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 10 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The maximum exemption amount available to qualified veterans is $253,264. Active duty armed forces personnel may receive a full property tax exemption if he/she is deployed out-of-state for military duty.|
|Vermont||A disabled veteran in Vermont may receive a property tax exemption of at least $10,000 on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 50 percent or more disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount varies as each town votes on the amount. The maximum exemption amount allowed by the state is $40,000.|
|Virginia||A disabled veteran in Virginia may receive a full property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service.|
|Washington||A disabled veteran in Washington may receive a property tax exemption on his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service. The exemption amount is based on income, as determined by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans with less than a 100% disability rating may receive a partial exemption.|
|West Virginia||A 100 percent disabled veteran or any veteran over the age of 65 in West Virginia is exempt from paying taxes on the first $20,000 of assessed value on a self-occupied property if the veteran was a resident of the state at the time they enter military service.|
|Wisconsin||A disabled veteran in Wisconsin may receive a property tax credit on their state income tax return for his/her primary residence if the veteran is 100 percent disabled as a result of service or has a 100 percent SCD rating. The veteran must have lived in WI when they entered into service or for a 5 year period after entering. The exemption amount varies.|
|Wyoming||A veteran in Wyoming may receive a property tax exemption of $3,000 of the assessed value of his/her primary residence if the veteran has lived in the state for 3 or more years and served during a period of war. Disabled veterans are eligible for the same exemption.|
|District of Columbia||A veteran must be over the age of 65 or disabled in order to qualify for a property tax exemption in the District of Columbia. The exemption reduces the veteran’s property tax by 50 percent. To qualify the veteran must own at least 50 percent of the property and annual income cannot exceed $100,000.|
In the UK, unfortunately, there are no such. disabled license plates. There are no signs at all on any cars that the driver or a passenger is disabled.
A small sampling of US States with special vehicle licence plates for the registered disabled
Every state in the USA issues these. It means that wherever in the USA a disabled vehicle driver may be traveling in his or her vehicle, irrespective of in which state it is registered, it has a specific unique and current disabled registration. They also alert non-disabled drivers to take extra care. Three examples are shown in the links, one from New York. See http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/pdf/Vehicles/HDC_Placard_Application.pdf. From Montana, at https://media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/MV5.pdf. One from California, at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr07. A further five examples are shown in the photos above. In all US states, an application from their disabled residents can cover both a disabled license plate and a parking tag (equivalent to a UK Disabled Parking card).
On a UK bus, some front seats are clearly signed to give priority seating to elderly, sight-impaired or blind, wheelchair-bound and mobility-restricted passengers. But this is often ignored, particularly when in the afternoons when regularly-scheduled buses stop near schools after 3 pm. Until recently, despite signage directed specifically to help wheel-chair bound passengers, mothers with infants in prams who occupy the wheelchair space can refuse to move. The driver was not able to order her to make way for the wheelchair-bound and the disabled had to wait for another bus. A Supreme Court hearing on this held on 18 January 2017 resulted in the wheelchair user winning his case. See https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/news/wheelchair-spaces-buses-must-be-priority-court-rules It is hoped this will lead to a requirement by the bus company to the driver to insist the pram user move or if not he will stop the bus until she does so. This recent court case resulted in only a partial victory for the disabled bus user. Why, because the law still does not make it clear that a wheel chair user always has priority, the bus driver must ask the offending pram user to move and she must do so by law, as is required abroad.
Disabled on Eastbourne buses. How Stagecoach may be able to help, see https://www.stagecoachbus.com/help-and-contact/national/i-m-disabled-how-do-i-find-out-if-i-can-use-the-bus.
The sign below-right now routinely appears on Britain's trains. But it is often ignored by able public transport users including mothers and fathers accompanying young children.
Local disability groups should now be asking their local train companies if, given the recent Supreme Court ruling relating to wheelchairs on buses (see above) finally getting some priority, the presently non-enforceable Priority Seating referred to below should now be legislated as enforceable.
Photo, right: Southern Railway train signage for the disabled on certain seats
Seats are not reserved, not even for the disabled with appropriate documentation, on any Southern Railway train.
However, with adequate notice, Southern Rail will offer valuable assistance to the disabled. Getting on and off trains, especially those with large spaces between the train and platforms, can be very stressful for disabled passengers. Railway staff are often asked to help the disabled at initial, intermediate and final stations of each journey and this is appreciated.
Southern Railway Priority Seat Card Application. New disabled residents should get one, as persons disabled and/or elderly and mobility-impaired.
Southern Railway Priority Seat Card. New disabled residents should get one, as persons disabled and/or elderly and mobility-impaired. On trains, there are disabled seats and also areas clearly marked specifically for the elderly and mobility-restricted as our graphic above shows. But these are frequently abused by non-elderly and not mobility-restricted passengers. Preferential seating is for those who need it, have particularly requested it on trains and in many cases have given adequate written proof to the rail companies concerned that they are entitled to it. But it is not legally enforced and many able passengers know it and may refuse without penalty to surrender their seats. In other countries, their disability laws make this legally enforceable and those who refuse are given often on-the-spot heavy fines for non-compliance.
Southern Railway Priority Seat Card Terms and Conditions.
Their websites claim many have accessible rooms, the British and European way of saying they are for the disabled/physically handicapped/challenged. They may be by UK standards but rarely do they meet USA ADA-compliant requirements. Unfortunately, here in the UK, unlike in USA, Canada, Europe etc. visitors who are disabled/will need to confirm in advance directly with a hotel that it has the kind of accessibility they need.
On their websites, if they offer accessible rooms at all for the disabled, they do not show on which floor they are located, or what emergency measures are in place if lifts (elevators) are not working in the event of an emergency, when accessible rooms are not on the ground floor. They do not always state that some properties do not have lifts or elevators, as they should because some walking disabled may not be able to use a staircase or stairs, especially if they do not have banisters on both sides. Nor do they always state they also have Disabled Parking facilities. There are no laws requiring them to do so, nor are there any that specify what general criteria they must meet in different types of disablement, such as wheelchair bound or able to use only a modified wet-room shower, not a bath with a shower above it that you have to step over to get in and out. Most UK properties have no disabled-friendly walk-in wet rooms. Other hotels claim they are disability friendly but their disabled rooms often have bathrooms with standard-length tubs not even supplied automatically with a safety tub mat. Unfortunately for both UK hotels, other accommodation and the disabled, when a person who is not really functionally disabled asks for a disabled room and one is available out of a very limited number, the hotels cannot refuse. Such a disabled room is often no longer available to a severely disabled guest. Tthere are no laws in Britain that require a hotel to ask a guest to show appropriate disability identification, as there is in the USA and elsewhere.
If when you get to a hotel, bring your valid Disabled Parking Card and ask to park in a disabled Parking area. If you cannot because someone else who does not have such a badge has parked there, lodge a complaint. It keeps a record of all cars parked at the hotel. If it will not contact the owner to move the car, then report it to an organization (like this one) which will do something about it. Merely complaining to your nearest (non-activist) disability group is not enough, most British disability groups will not gripe publicly or try to take it further for fear of losing their local council-funded support or other local funding.
UK-based travel agents don't tell you, but should be required to, that if you are disabled in a wheelchair or using crutches or walking sticks or walkers (Zimmer frames) and/or are otherwise in any way mobility-impaired, you will encounter some substantial difficulties both on and off your cruise ship (on shore excursions). Here are the main problems:
Cabin bathrooms especially on ocean-going cruise ships. Many are small overall, affecting those who have a mobility or balance problem and don't ask for a disabled-friendly cabin with its own wet room shower will suffer, especially in the showers seemingly designed for half-grown children.
Cabin sizes on European river boats. Many European river boat cruises now start and finish their package with a nice roomy land-side hotel but completely fail to say how, in stark comparison, their river boat cabins are so small and bathrooms are so tiny that they are a problem for all who are disabled. It is strongly recommended you avoid like the plaque any cabin on any river boat smaller than 175 square feet. Those of only 145 square feet are a major problem for the disabled.
WIFI on ocean-going and river boat cruises. It is offered, but is very expensive and often unreliable on cruise ships. On European river boats it is offered for free. You are told signals may be interrupted in certain areas. What you are not told is how some companies, like Viking, have totally unreliable, in fact, no decent service at all in certain areas (for example, from Budapest to Bucharest and vice versa, from a Spanish company far away), while a competitor on the same route has an adequate service.
Using a cruise-ship's elevator (lift). Although many cruise ships have them you may have to wait for many minutes to get one. Most often, they are packed.
Getting seating for the ship's shows. You'll miss out because by the time you get via wheelchair or by walking slowly due to your reduced mobility to the night club or venue, you may find that all seats are taken.
Shore excursions. You'll possibly go to some exotic ports, but in the Caribbean especially you'll have a problem. Why? Because cruise lines calling at Caribbean and other ports don't require those ports, for the business the cruise lines give them, to have disabled-friendly transportation. You won't be able to go on many shore excursions even though you may have pre-paid for them. Only in American and American-Caribbean (for example, Puerto Rico or St. Croix or St. Thomas or the other US Virgin Islands), or American-Pacific ports will you find these facilities, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In only a very few ports can ferries, when available, take wheelchairs and when they can most - except in US ports - don't have priority reserved seating for the elderly and/or disabled.
Unfortunately, despite what some disability-friendly holiday websites may claim, these authors know from personal experience that satisfactory disabled access holidays, while quite readily available in Europe, are not so in Bermuda, the Caribbean and elsewhere. In most ports of the Caribbean, disabled passengers in wheelchairs on cruise ships or traveling independently will not be able to go ashore and then take local mass transit (public transportation) buses or taxis or ferries. Only in the American ports of Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands where the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies will the latter be routinely available.
Cruise ships sailing to and from from US ports are required by US laws have between 15 and 25 disabled cabins and staterooms, and to make them more roomy than for the non-disabled. cruise lines. In the USA, they are required by ADA regulations to ensure allow persons who are not disabled do not occupy staterooms intended solely for the disabled and their caregivers or carers. (Disabled persons, if denied a cabin specifically for the disabled, under American laws have specific legal remedies if such cabins are instead given by cruise ship operators to persons not officially registered as disabled and don't have appropriate disability and ID documentation to prove it). No such regulations apply under UK law.
(From the personal experiences of these disabled authors).
While river cruising is an easy and wonderful but not-cheap way to see lots of places, it is not ideal for any disabled or other passengers with mobility problems, for several important reasons. Most river boats do not have cabin and bathroom doors adapted (made extra-wide to allow access) for wheelchair users and some don't have lifts (elevators). If they do, the lifts may not go to all levels. Circular staircases lead to the least expensive cabins and are unable to be accessed by wheelchairs. Mobility scooters on board are neither possible nor practical. Getting on and off the vessel, especially for those with a balance problem, may be difficult. There are often steps up and down to the docks. Sightseeing in old towns with cobbled streets may be a problem. Not all places you visit will be wheel-chair friendly. Buses you take for shore excursions probably won't be.
elderly, disabled or mobility-impaired passengers on riverboats there can be
other hazards, again of the types not found on ocean-going cruise ships all of
which have elevators going up and down to all floors.
Some riverside towns and cities have only a limited number of riverboat
moorings. As a result, riverboats often have to go alongside each other. With
their different lengths, sizes and gangplank placements, it is not an easy
matter to negotiate them to get ashore, especially for the elderly and disabled
or the mobility-restricted. Your riverboat cruise staff will ask you to go
outside the ship, climb up the narrow staircase, go to the other side of the
ship, go down that side’s narrow staircase, then cross over to another ship
and do the same again. This poses unacceptable risks and dangers to the
disabled, mobility-impaired and elderly passengers on riverboats.
Accessibility seating for the disabled is offered but, not being in a public-sector place it is not legally enforceable under UK law .
Disabled toilets (bathrooms) and cinema or theatre seats in non-public buildings are often provided and marked as such but also often abused. When the abuse occurs there is no remedy or recourse except an ineffectual complaint, because present disability laws don't include them. Additionally, such facilities in non-public buildings are discretionary, not obligatory and the local authorities if and when complained to, will not take formal remedial action. Disability groups should be, but are not, pressing for local, regional and national action.
In Eastbourne see Congress Theatre, Devonshire Park Theatre, Winter Garden.
Disabled visitors and newcomers planning to attend a performance should first discuss their needs and any special requirements with the Box Office staff when booking tickets. They will try to ensure disabled theatre-goers are offered the most appropriate seats. The Congress Theatre offers an additional service for any group bookings i.e. residential homes, schools etc. who would benefit from arriving early. Please contact the theatre at 01323 415528 in advance to arrange for a Support Usher to welcome the group before everyone else. Leave a message for the Duty Manager who will make contact as soon as possible. At the Devonshire Park Theatre, entrance for wheelchairs users is to the right of the building. Please make yourself known to a member of the front of house team who will escort theatre-goers to this entrance. For ease of access, if entering the building through this door, it is suggested disabled visitors and their essential companions if also present purchase their tickets on this side of the auditorium, for seats number 1 onwards. There is also an Essential Companion scheme. Application forms are available from box office by calling 01323 412000 or by downloading the Essential Companion Scheme Application Form.
• Wheelchair accessible toilet
• Blue Badge parking (three or more spaces, not unlimited) near to venues
• Infrared Hearing System (Congress and Devonshire Park Theatre)
• Induction Loop System (Winter Garden and Devonshire Park Theatre)
• Patron Lift (Congress Theatre and Winter Garden)
• Guide Dogs welcome
• Orientation tours available on request
• Brochures available in audio format, request copy from box office on 01323 412000 or email email@example.com
• Audio Description provided at the Devonshire Park Theatre by the Friends of the Devonshire Park Theatre. Available Friday evenings and Saturday matinees of week-long productions.
Eastbourne, despite boasting it is disabled-friendly in so many ways is in fact a disability-unfriendly town. .For well over two years, since 2016, more than any other town in the UK, its pavements have been terrible, uneven, patched, dangerous to walk on for the mobility-impaired using sticks or crutches or to ride on in wheelchairs. It is totally unlike towns in the European Union, Canada, USA, etc. where free disabled parking is routinely offered in their city or town centre multi-storey parking centres. In sad contrast, no such facilities exist in Eastbourne. Its few multi-floor parking areas have disabled parking spaces with a sign saying they are for the disabled only but do not offer discounts or free parking for disabled drivers. They are often abused without penalty by non-disabled drivers without disabled parking rights. Why? Because such facilities are deemed a private facility under UK law so are not regulated for disabled parking spaces. On the public road along the ocean front of the town are some free disabled parking spaces but these are also regularly abused by both locals and visitors. Shopping centres within the town boundary have lots of spaces for free disabled parking within a 3 hour time limit but when this disabled author did s spot check at Sovereign Village, 55% of the 100 or so spaces were being used by vehicles with no disabled parking permits. It is estimated that Eastbourne Borough Council, by failing to book miscreants, is losing about £650,000 in revenue in 2019 alone.
Alone in the disabled world, the UK stands out for its chronic lack of action in prosecuting drivers of cars who park on pavements (sidewalks) or on dropped kerbs or both, thereby preventing blind or deaf or other disabled persons accompanied by their carers or spouses and those riding mobility vehicles to walk or ride in safety on the pavements and cross the road via a dropped kerb. Those offending cars and other vehicles impede or block the way and force those affected to cross the road in a more dangerous manner, to face danger from busy road traffic in both directions. There should be a single nationwide policy in this matter stating such offensive parking is actionable. Instead, every council seems to have a different policy with no action taken. Eastbourne is a major offender, including in Sovereign Harbour where reports about pavements blocked by offending cars have been sent to both the Eastbourne Borough Council and East Sussex County Council by the disabled using mobility vehicles, including this author and his wife, but with no action taken. Making it even worse is when offending vehicles and others parked directly or nearly opposite them block and so do not allow bigger and wider ambulances, fire engines and other emergency vehicles to pass through. Photos of offending cars, vans and trucks showing their registration numbers and when the photo was taken will soon be appearing on this and other local, regional, national and international disability websites
Despite a definitive statement on its website that protecting the vulnerable - including all who are disabled - is a priority, East Sussex police will not enforce council byelaws to stop cyclists from cycling on the Eastbourne Borough Council byelaw-mandated no-cycling part of the Eastbourne Promenade. Pensioners and disabled or frail and their carers use that particular part of the promenade not because it is central to the town - which it is - but especially because it is flat and wide and because of the latter they can walk in safety with their carers at their side to give them physical and other support. Eastbourne is the only seafront town in the UK with such a downtown part-cycle-free area. That byelaw dates from 2006 and was established primarily because Eastbourne as a seaside town has the highest number of elderly over 65 to 95, frail and disabled in the entire country. 12% of the population is aged over 75 years, compared to 8% regionally and nationally. The county ranks highest of all the counties in England for the percentage of 85 and 90 year olds .
However, cycling is permitted on further-away parts of the Eastbourne promenade. At a meeting of the Eastbourne Borough Council's Disability Disability Involvement Group (EDIG) held on 4 December 2019 it was reported that from a police perspective the police are not looking to pursue penalties to cyclists. “Current practice is to ask cyclists to dismount. It is not a priority for police.” It is astonishing that since 2006 when the Eastbourne Borough Council byelaw was made enforceable there have been so few prosecutions despite many flagrant violations. The council, because it has not been supported to do so by the police, has thus allowed violators galore, especially in the summer, to escape the £100 fine. Councils must see that the law is enforced and members of the public expect the police to act.
Nor will they act in any other disabled-particular matter, such as in disabled-only parking space abuses in both council owned or street and private shopping mall car parks, or cars parked on pavements or dropped kerbs, unlike their European and North American counterparts who will in all these cases. Yes, in many respects the British Police are regarded as a model to the world, but in the particular ways described above they also have a terrible reputation, unfortunately also followed not only in the U.K. but also in other British Police Services in the British Overseas Territories (BOTs) such as Bermuda, according to very recent and earlier press reports going back many years such as in Bermuda’s daily newspaper The Royal Gazette. Why is this? Because, unlike in Europe, Canada and USA, etc where the police are deemed to be law enforcement officers and do so, in Britain and the BOTs they seem to be and act as mere community officers and will not assist in prosecuting those who mistreat the disabled. (This disabled elderly journalist author has seen this for himself when he worked in Bermuda and the USA. He has noted how in Bermuda the Bermuda Police Service declines to help the disabled in parking violations of the non-disabled, citing the UK Police as their example and in the USA. particularly in some of the post popular areas of the USA for UK visitors, namely Miami in Florida, Boston in Massachusetts and New York where principle convicted offenders in their courts for disabled parking violations by the non-disabled, because the police are involved, are Brits who say plaintively that the police do not charge them in the UK so they don't see why they should be prosecuted in the USA. It is not only not accepted as a valid excuse it has also become a standing joke in the USA that hurts the reputation of the British Police).In the matter of dropped kerb abuses at the end of your driveway (which in most local authorities - planning laws say must be provided), the Traffic Management Act 2004 applies. This act covers restrictions on parking where a kerb has been dropped for a number of reasons including for the purpose of "assisting vehicles entering or leaving the carriageway across the footway, cycle track or verge". Exceptions to this include where a vehicle is parked outside residential premises "by or with the consent (but not consent given for reward) of the occupier of the premises" but this exception does not apply in the case of a shared driveway; emergency vehicles; when a vehicle is being used for the purposes of delivering goods/unloading etc at the premises (has to be 'reasonable' and for no longer than 20 minutes); and vehicles undertaking any building, signing, utilities or sewer works or collecting waste on behalf of local authority, removing a traffic obstruction. If you think you could have a case under this piece of legislation, complainants should first try to find and speak to the vehicle owner. In a friendly and polite manner, tell them about the act and that you'd like to get your vehicle out. If they refuse, call the police on 101 - not 999 (it's more than likely NOT an emergency and if it is, the vehicle owner will probably cooperate with you anyhow). Tell them about the problem, how long the vehicle has been there and that you need to get your car out. If they say there's nothing they can do, refer them to the Traffic Management act of 2004 (as it relates to dropped kerbs) and what the normal steps are. The police should be able to help you to take the right steps even if they won't do anything themselves immediately.
We who are disabled, frail and elderly, not only in Eastbourne but throughout the country, now request that the Strategic Review of Policing in England and Wales include this complaint and accept our recommendations. Why? Because we want to see the image of British Police exceed in every way the standards of police in North America and Europe, not continue to be inferior to them in what they do for the disabled, elderly and frail and in not dealing with other major social problems concerning the latter in particular. We will be so pleased if the changes contemplated can achieve this.
See https://www.theaa.com/staticdocs/pdf/services/disabled_travellers_guide.pdf. Especially useful for disabled travellers from the UK going to Europe and beyond. It also makes clear that certain equipment in the UK, such as Radar keys for toilets, cannot be used in Europe or beyond.
See https://adata.org/faq/what-kind-law-ada. To compare with UK laws for the disabled.
See http://www.ageconcerneastbourne.org.uk/. Members include disabled residents.
Cannot be used by the disabled, too much of a slope for those with either mobility or walking problems or in a wheelchair. Nor are there any toilets or benches or railings.
Government must lead the charge. See https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/news-parliament-2015/disability-and-built-environment-report-published-16-17/
A valuable service for the disabled and their carers,
national card that can verify that if the holder is verified
as severely disabled and by paying a small annual fee can have accompanying carer
entitled to a free cinema
cardholder is the person requiring assistance, not the carer. See Cinema Exhibitors' Association
Good but subject to certain conditions. Providing the disabled person qualifies and the house or flat has the rooms to qualify. It is required under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and its successor the Equality Act 2010 for councils to assist the disabled who qualify and reduce council tax banding for those with a permanent disability. It applies to only one place, the sole residence of disabled applicants. They should apply promptly. With no national registration methodology, disabled persons who move from one local authority jurisdiction to another and have previously had a one band council tax banding for the disabled, don't qualify in the new local authority until they apply and meet the same criteria. Councils or their appointed agents will visit the property concerned to confirm eligibility.
Disabled Holidays Guide
Wheelchair Accessible Holidays
A nice feature, handled very well by kind and sympathetic handlers at all UK and many overseas airports. Incredibly useful to the genuinely disabled, thanks mostly to European not UK disability laws. Most large UK airports now have special seating areas clearly marked for disabled-only. Unfortunately, because they are not completely blocked off from the general public, the disabled area at London Gatwick's North and South Terminals are taken advantage of by many non-disabled, some of whom wander into the disabled area to view the flight departure signs or to recharge their mobile phones or laptops or tablets or just to sit in more peace and quiet than on the non-disabled seating areas. Other misuse by the non-disabled is most obviously from Jamaicans flying back home, laden down with parcels but not needing airline passenger special assistance in other ways. It ought to be a legal requirement that only passengers who have specifically asked for such assistance, are given and wear the appropriate flashing cord around wear neck for when they are collected as when their flight is announced, should be allowed to sit there.
London Heathrow Airport, see http://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/special-assistance/how-to-get-help and http://www.heathrow.com/airport-guide/special-assistance.
For basic details, see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/insurance-premium-tax-increase-to-standard-rate/insurance-premium-tax-increase-to-standard-rate and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notice-ipt-1-insurance-premium-tax/notice-ipt1-insurance-premium-tax. It currently amounts to over 12 percent of all insurance premiums. Presently, the only known exemption for the disabled is exemption from the insurance tax for Motability customers only. As there has long been disabled VAT exemption (see below), surely this should apply too?
VAT relief for Disabled People. See https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/419404/Disabled_Helpsheet__Construction_-final__2_.pdf. and https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/vat-reliefs-for-disabled-and-older-people for what qualifies and what does not. Be sure to ask if the supplier will offer VAT-free billing if the item qualifies. when merited.
Registered charity, a national association with a wide and diverse membership. It currently consists of over 100 members. Membership is open to any lawyer, legal or advice worker or other person substantially engaged or interested in discrimination law and any organisation, firm, company or other body engaged or interested in discrimination law. The membership comprises, in the main, persons concerned with discrimination law from a complainant perspective. The DLA was established to promote good community relations by the advancement of education in the field of anti-discrimination law and practice. It achieves this by, among other things, the promotion and dissemination of advice and information, and the development and co-ordination of contacts with discrimination law practitioners and similar people and organisations in the UK and internationally. The DLA is concerned with achieving an understanding of the needs of victims of discrimination amongst lawyers, law-makers and others and of the necessity for a complainant-centred approach to anti-discrimination law and practice. With this in mind the DLA seeks to secure improvements in discrimination law and practice in the United Kingdom, Europe and at an international level.
See http://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/community/eastbourne-disability-involvement-group/ kindly shows a link to us and we reciprocate it gladly.
Provided by the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Hospitals are Eastbourne District General Hospital at http://www.esht.nhs.uk/hospitals/eastbournedgh/ , King's Drive, Eastbourne BN21 2UD. Phone 01323 417400 and Conquest Hospital, St. Leonard's, Hastings,see http://www.esht.nhs.uk/hospitals/conquest/. For car parking at Eastbourne District General Hospital see http://www.myhospitalmap.org.uk/Eastbourne/CarParkingatEastbourneDistrictGeneralHospital.aspx. Disabled Parking is shown.
Eastbourne District General Hospital
See http://www.messefrankfurt.com/frankfurt/en/besucher/anreise_und_aufenthalt/barrierefreier_zugang/europa_wc-schluessel.html?nc. Or see http://www.proinfirmis.ch/index.php?id=2670.
The UK's Radar key will not work anywhere in Europe, the EuroKey should be obtained.
As UK residents, if you've not already signed up for one and want to holiday in Europe, you'll need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). While the UK remains in the EU zone (but not after 31 December 2019) it entitles you to the same free or reduced-cost health care as EU residents if you get ill or have an accident in any EU country. You will need to complete the online form (your card will be delivered in seven days) or by calling 0845 606 2030. Every family member needs a separate card. Before you apply, you need to have the name, date of birth and NHS or national insurance (NI) number of everyone you are applying for. The EHIC lasts for 3-5 years. The treatment will be free or at a reduced cost, but private treatment is not usually covered. Should you need to make a claim once you return to the UK call the Overseas Healthcare Team (Newcastle), 0191 218 1999 (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm). Renew your EHIC for free directly at www.nhs.uk/ehic. If you use an unofficial website you may have to pay. It is also important to make sure you have private health insurance. This is because the EHIC will not cover all the costs of your treatment (for example, will not cover your costs if you are treated by any cruise ship or riverboat medical staff or anyone they have to call) and never covers the cost of getting you home (repatriation) if you are seriously ill. Supplementary, more inclusive EHIC coverage is available. If you are going to a non-European country, only very few countries offer any similar arrangement. For more information on the EHIC see the Department of Health's advice for travellers or call the EHIC Enquiries Line on 0845 605 0707.
See https://www.hearinglink.org/. Charity for those with hearing loss.
A very good, albeit not cheap service for the disabled, more generous in some respects than leasing arrangements directly with manufacturers. Presently, only Motability customers, not those using other forms of car financing, get exemption from the insurance tax referred to above. Motability dealers in Sussex include, see http://www.motabilitylifestyle.co.uk/classifieds/motability-car-dealers/sussex/eastbourne/dealers.htm
See BlobServlet-docId=14840&langId=en. See from the diagrams further on how they cover far more areas than in the UK, also look at private housing and facilities not just public facilities.
See Office for Disability Issues, UK Government, see https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-for-disability-issues.
Not part of Sovereign Harbour but near it. A brand-new, fully disabled-accessible Council-funded but privately managed Sovereign Centre is to be built by 2019 adjacent to the present facility. Its new disability-friendly features will include pools with ramps, lifts, nine disabled parking bays, mobility scooter bays, appropriately colored signage to assist the deaf, blind and more.
For a Sovereign Harbour Residents Association Map, see http://www.shra.co.uk/maps.html.
Mobility scooter and wheelchair access. Four out of five Sovereign Harbours are flat, scenic and accessible for mobility scooter and wheelchair access for the disabled, not via the public Atlantic Drive and Pacific Drive roads but via their flat scenic brick pathways (walkways) immediately adjacent to their harbours. The fifth, Sovereign Harbour North, is similarly accessible for its entire length on the south side and some of its length on the north side. For new disabled residents and visitors it is possible, if their disability vehicles do not need charging en route, to travel the entire two-mile route from Eastbourne town centre to the Sovereign Harbour complex.
Sovereign Harbour flat brick pathway going around nearly all the five harbours, perfect for mobility scooters. Photos above cc Keith and Lois Forbes.
Presently, in the Sovereign Harbour retail areas, Disabled Parking Spaces available are at the ASDA/Crumbles retail centre (about 60 in total) and the Waterfront car park (20).. At ASDA/The Crumbles most of these spaces are close to shops and ASDA has to be complemented for having the largest number seen to date at any supermarket shopping centre in the UK. At the Waterfront complex, all 20 Disabled Parking spaces, despite being on the western end, closest to restaurants, shops and services are at least 150 yards away from them..
In the residential areas, the complete lack of properly signed and appropriately bordered legally unenforceable disabled parking nearly everywhere is a major problem to all the residents who are disabled among its 7,500 residents..
The complete lack of any disabled parking spaces at any of the units of flats in the Sovereign Harbour area in their below-building or adjacent parking areas is one major problem. Another is that some cars are parked so badly that they impede and slow or halt the progress of emergency vehicles to aid the disabled.. This lack of residential disabled parking was never addressed in the Sovereign Harbour Supplementary Planning Document of February 2013. Nowhere in its content does it mention the need for disabled parking areas for disabled residents, or the fact that the latter, because of their disability, need wider parking spaces than the norm. The obligations of individual developers to provide not only adequately sized and enough parking spaces for the able-bodied but sufficient wider international-standard Disabled Parking spaces as well for the registered disabled, is not specified. Instead, what clearly seems to have happened is that developers have crammed as many parking spaces as they can into their developments, many of which are so small they cannot easily accept longer and wider cars of today, and with none of the undercroft and only one (see photo above, which partially but not wholly meets the standard) having wider and properly disability-marked Disability Parking available.
When The Waterfront complex (see eastbourneharbour.com) describes Sovereign Harbour in which it is located as "Eastbourne's international experience" and the entire harbour area has street and quay names from prominent places around the world, that "international experience" cachet should surely be followed by developers in creating parking and disabled parking to international standards in residential areas. This should be a requirement of the planning departments of local-authority councils instead of it being left solely to developers because their developments are not on public property. It has long been required and legislated internationally by planning departments of local authorities that these provisions be enacted on both public and private properties.
Every Sunday afternoon at Motcombe Pool.
Keith also writes
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Keith A. Forbes
and Lois A Forbes at firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2020. Revised: March 16, 2020