A GROUP is being formed to give people with mobility problems a voice and to alleviate some of the issues they face getting about on a daily basis.

Members met for the first time on Friday at Parks library and are aiming to secure funding to back an awareness campaign and become a permanent forum.

Issues faced by people with mobility problems in Swindon include abuse from motorists when they are forced onto roads, and a lack of storage space, even in sheltered accommodation.

Coun Derique Montaut (Lab, Liden, Eldene and Park South), who chaired the first meeting, said: “One of the service users asked me to set up the group because they felt there was no voice for them. We identified a number of issues and looked at ways to maximise their voice.

“We’re looking at a concerted campaign across the area to recruit people in the initial stages and to raise the funds needed to go forward.”

He said that the aim of the group was to try to influence the council and to raise awareness of the difficulties that mobility users face. “Mobility users have been discriminated against in the past when they have not been provided with storage areas and dropped kerbs,” he said. “Problems they have encountered include being forced to use the highway, where they have been abused by motorists. There is also a lack of storage spaces at some council facilities due to health and safety issues.”

Coun Montaut added that a meeting with Swindon Council would be convened in three weeks and the group could be given charitable status, enabling it to apply for a wider range of grants.

The group will reconvene in three weeks time with Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, civil engineers, the council’s Shopmobility service and other agencies being invited to the meeting.

Due to Government cuts there has been a reduction in provision for people with mobility problems.

Coun Montaut said: “We will be setting up a website and the group will be advertised in libraries and community centres. Once established hopefully it will give people with mobility problems a voice.”