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Govt intervenes after Disability Society puts spotlight on Rosia Bay equipment ‘not fit for purpose’

The Disability Society said at the weekend that swimming equipment at Rosia Bay “was not fit for purpose”, adding that this has happened “one week into the official beach season”.

In a statement to the press, the Disability Society said a local family took their disabled family member for a day at Rosia “only to find that, not only was the store locked, but when they gained access the water wheelchair was not useable”.

In its reply, the Gibraltar Government agreed that this situation was “unacceptable” and the equipment has now been restored and ready to be used by disabled beachgoers.

“The Society took it upon itself to make official enquiries as to the reason for this disgraceful situation,” the Disability Society said at the weekend.

“We have been informed that the maintenance of the beach equipment has been handed to a private company.”

“We were told that because the disability beach equipment was being stored in a room along with tools and paint used by maintenance workers, it was assumed by said private company, that the disability equipment was not going to used.”

“This is totally unacceptable,” the Disability Society added.

“Firstly, expensive disability equipment should not be stored in such a haphazard manner, and secondly to assume that the disability equipment was not required during the beach season is nonsensical.”

“The Society has been assured that the matter will be addressed immediately.”

A spokesman for the Disability Society said a letter of apology should be sent to the family concerned.

For its part, the Government on Tuesday said it takes notes of this statement, and clarified that it had “outsourced the maintenance of the equipment to a private contractor and received assurances from them that all relevant equipment was in order”.

“Therefore, the Government considers the situation which ensued at Camp Bay entirely unacceptable and agrees with the Disability Society that an explanation is due from the private contractor,” a spokesman for the Gibraltar Government said.

“The Department of the Environment, upon learning of the state of the equipment, immediately contacted the provider and expressed its disappointment at the situation and instructed them to repair the equipment immediately.”

“The Government now understands that all appropriate equipment has been restored and is safe and ready to be used by disabled beachgoers.”

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