Disabled Caister woman can’t use polling station

A DISABLED Caister woman has been unable to cast her vote in the local election due to the lack of disabled parking close to the polling booth.

Anne Franklin, 50, who suffers from Motor Neurone disease, visited the polling station at Caister Village Hall in the High Street on Thursday morning <May 5>, but could not find a space close enough to the hall.

Her friend Sue Webster said no designated disabled spaces had been created in the public parking area alongside the road outside the hall, so Mrs Franklin, of Lancaster Road, had to compete with other motorists for a space.

She added the mum-of-one had not got the strength in her arms and legs for walking long distances and needed help to cross roads, though she only used a wheelchair to go shopping in Great Yarmouth.

“Anne does live quite near the polling station, so she could walk with a walker, but she is scared of falling all the time,” she said.

However, Linda Mockford, the borough council’s deputy counting officer, said the county council’s highways department had originally put traffic cones in the High Street to mark out the disabled bays, but these had since been moved to Tan Lane, which runs alongside the Village Hall.

But she added there may have been confusion over whether the cones marked out the parking bays as they had ‘no parking’ written on them.

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She said she would contact Norfolk Police to see if they could deal with the problem.