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Disabled residents in Medway are being encouraged to join a new forum and have their say in council decisions affecting the disabled community.

Carers and people with disabilities have the opportunity to join the Medway Disabled Residents’ Forum on Thursday, 6 March at the Pentagon Centre in Chatham from 10.30am.

The group is set to encourage the disabled population to speak out on issues that affect quality of life, access and welfare of disabled residents.

The concept of the forum was agreed unanimously at Full Council at the end of 2012, and has received cross-party support with Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Service Cllr David Brake, the Leader of the council’s Labour Group, Cllr Vince Maple and Cllr Geoff Juby, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group all backing the idea.

Chairman of the Medway Residents’ Forum Ryan Gallagher said: “Disabled people in Medway really need a way of speaking out about issues that have an impact on them. This forum will do just that, but we need lots of people to get on board if we are going to have an impact.

I would encourage anyone affected by disability to join us at the Pentagon Centre on Thursday.”

The event will run from 10.30am to 2.30pm and will be an opportunity to find out more about the forum.

There will also be a chance to find out about some of the services available to disabled people in Medway.

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Pupils and students across Medway have been learning the rules of the road thanks to Medway Council’s Road Safety Team.

The team were at Mid Kent College’s recent Fresher’s Week to discuss drink drive issues, demonstrate new roadside moped enforcement and provide useful resources such as crash cards, biker safety packs and hi visibility hats to more than 130 young people.

The team has also visited Cuxton Infant and Junior Schools to answer parent’s road safety questions and listen to their views and concerns.

James Sutton, Safer Journeys Officer, said: “It was positive to see so many parents consciously leave their cars at home and walk. There was lots of interest in setting up a walking bus or park and stride scheme. We are optimistic we can support these schemes to get people walking and reducing the number of cars outside of the school gates.”

The Safer Journeys Team are available to provide road safety advice, support and information on a variety of topics including, child car seats, walking buses, the driving medical standards and road skills for young pedestrians. If you would like some specific road safety related advice please take a look at http://www.medway.gov.uk/saferjourneys or email travel.safety@medway.gov.uk

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