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NEW LAW REQUIRES FULL DISABLED ACCESS TO VILLAGE HALLS

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Many village halls need funds to make them accessible for disabled people, ...
Many village halls need funds to make them accessible for disabled people,

but they cannot get money until 2005, BBC Radio Four's Today programme

reported this morning.

The Disability Discrimination Act requires buildings to be fully accessible

to wheelchairs by 2004 but there are currently no grants available to help

village halls pay for the works, Today reported.

Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, said he was told by the

Department of Culture, Media and Sport that the next funding round for

village halls would not be until 2005-06.

But Maria Eagle, minister for disabled people, told Today that no village

halls should close because of the new legislation. 'The law takes into

account the nature of the organisation and its resources', she said.

'Adjustments are not as difficult and expensive as many people think'.

She advised communities that are worried about their halls to contact the

Disability Rights Commission.

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