CHARITIES say disabled people in Basildon must get more opportunities and support in the town.

It comes as Basildon Council is set to agree £6,000 of funding for a consultation into how to make the town centre more accessible for disabled people.

The authority wants to fund its new inclusive Basildon borough project to make the town more inclusive for all.

This first stage will see the council speaking with businesses and stakeholders as well as considering improvements, such as fully accessible toilets.

Charities are also calling for opportunities such as more jobs and also support from retailers.

Maggie Blackburn, manger of the Papworth Trust, said: “There are some changes that shops can be considering such as wider doors and more wheelchair friendly areas.

“Stores also need to look at the height of shelves and width of the aisles; many disabled people want to be independent and not rely on asking for help.

“People tell us they like the automatic doors but say the timings of them are not always very good.”

She added: “It is always good have more adaptations to the community and services on offer.

“It shows disabled people they are being thought about and that the place is a disabled friendly area.

“We need more ramps in the town centre.

“I think it would be great if more shops had a better understanding of disabled people who do not understand money and take more time when serving them.

“We would like to get involved with a cafe that offers disabled people jobs, training and opportunities.”

Warren Burrows, of Pitsea, lives with Multiple Sclerosis and agreed more could be done.

He echoed calls for disabled access in restaurants and cafes.

He said: “It’s hard to find somewhere to enjoy a meal and/or a coffee that takes a wheelchair easily.”

The 44-year-old added: “An office with jobs for disabled would also be great.”

Basildon Council will consider the plans at a public meeting on Tuesday.