Market House lift debate: Ledbury Reporter comment

Ledbury Reporter: DEBATE: Ledbury's Market House DEBATE: Ledbury's Market House

THE row over a proposal to install a lift for disabled people in Ledbury’s historic Market House is dividing opinion in our town.

Both sides have good cases to argue and are passionate in their beliefs.

But they should not allow this debate to descend into antagonism, as it has threatened to do on occasions.

Supporters of the lift plan rightly see the Market House as a public building that should be accessible to all.

The difficulty is that it is an irreplaceable heritage building that is deeply symbolic to the people of Ledbury.

Our view is that all public buildings should, whenever possible, be adapted to make them accessible to everyone, including disabled people.

But clearly there are going to be occasions when this is not possible.

Our ancestors did not build with accessibility issues in mind.

But that does not mean which should tamper carelessly with their legacy to suit the needs of everyone today. There must be compromises.

A decision on the lift plan is best made by experts in historical architecture in consultation with interested parties and the wider public.

It is also important to consider whether a permanent lift is the only option. Could, for instance, some form of less intrusive occasional arrangements be put in place to allow disabled people access?

Our website this week carries a poll on the lift plan. We do not claim any statistical accuracy; it is only an indication of the feelings of those who vote.

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