Councillor calls for borough wide consistent approach to radar keys

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Councillor Julie Flaherty

Adam Morton

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Local Democracy Reporter

A councillor has called on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to ensure it has a consistent borough-wide approach to RADAR keys and their availability.

A RADAR key (sometimes known as an NKS key) is a large silver coloured, skeleton key that opens more than 10,000 locked, disabled toilets and changing places facilities across the UK.

Speaking at the council’s monthly meeting on Monday, June 27, Councillor Julie Flaherty noted a flaw in the council’s RADAR key offering and asked  officers to address this issue.

“There was one small issue that raised its head with me this week. It is with regards to the use of and access to RADAR keys across the borough,” said Cllr Flaherty.

“It seems to be a bit patchy and simpler in certain areas, depending on which area you are in.

“We have been quite fortunate to secure a number of changing places facilities which will be opening very soon and we have a few more pieces of inclusive play equipment installed.

“The issue is that it is very simple for parents and families to access the keys but not so for our groups and even some schools in the area.

“These groups are beginning to use our open spaces and parks because they are becoming more suitable for them but at present they do not have access to the RADAR keys as a group or organisation.

“We are encouraging people to use our spaces and we are punching well above our weight in this area but we probably need something done, just a wee report to ensure access to RADAR keys is consistent for all.”

Council’s head of estates and asset management and soon to be interim strategic director of neighbourhood services, Jonathan Hayes, said a report on the matter will come before members in the autumn.

“I will take these comments on board and bring a report back on radar keys and some of those issues around groups and schools’ access to them in the autumn,” said Mr Hayes.

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