Linda Garbutt, Chairwoman
Barry Gower, Secretary
Brian Pickering, Treasurer
Alice Severs
David Wilkinson
Katie Corrigan
Michael Stoker
Len Shield

Linda welcomed all to the Group’s first ‘on-line’ meeting.

  1. Apologies: Liz Brown, George Barber
  2. The minutes of the meeting on 11 March 2020 were accepted as a correct record.
  3. Matters arising:
    3.1    Item 6: The Group's website. Brian reported that Richard Fletcher had launched the Group's new website, with the help of funding contributed by a number of County Councillors, including Katie. Barry reported that 'thank you' emails had been sent to all contributors, and to Craig Morgan who helped with the application for funds. The website contains some information about the Group, and Barry reported that he will be posting the minutes, and agendas, of meetings on the website.
  4. Plans for Durham's new bus station:
        There had been a 'virtual' meeting of the DCC Disability Partnership on 12 January 2021, and some members of the Group had been able to join this meeting. It was reported that much of the discussion had centered on the difficulties that visually impaired people might have in using the bus station. There was some debate abut the priority given to, or the usefulness of, some features, but it was clear that care is being taken to ensure that the facility does meet the needs of people with disabilities. It was agreed that with regard to the new bus station, the views of the Group were heard and considered.
  5. Response to the City's audit reports:
        Five reports by an external consultant on the difficulties some disabled and elderly people might encounter when negotiating the city's streets have been commissioned by the DCC Disability Partnership. These reports cover most parts of the centre of the city, especially those who live and work in the city and those who visit it to use its shopping facilities. The Secretary reported that on behalf of the Group and with the help of the Chairwoman he had drafted responses to the first two of these reports, and these responses had been made available to members of the Group for comment. He explained that his aim is to prepare responses, incorporating comments from members of the Group, to all five of the reports by the end of January, for submission to the DCC Disability Partnership.
  6. Plans for refurbishment of the Miners' Hall at Redhills:
        BG and LS had visited the Miners' Hall in November 2020, and had been able to see much of the interior, including the principal chamber. On behalf of the Group they had written reports on what they had been able to see, and had sent these for consideration by those designing the refurbishment of the facility. There had not yet been a response to the reports.