Deaf News: Deaf councillor told to attend meetings he can’t understand or get booted out

Posted on February 6, 2013



You know how sometimes, hearing people just don’t get deafness, at all? Well, this story’s a prime example.

Attend meetings you can’t understand or get booted off a council? Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place…

Extract from Bedfordshire on Sunday: http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/News/Councillors-dispute-falls-on-deaf-ears-20130203150000.htm

AN elected official could be booted off of an authority after he told colleagues he would not be attending any more meetings until they introduced a permanent hearing loop system.

Sandy Town Councillor, Ken Lynch, is refusing to go to meetings of the council until a permanent hearing loop system had been installed as he can’t hear anything other councillors or members of the public are saying.

However according to the authority’s clerk, Delia Shephard, if Cllr Lynch fails to show up to any gatherings at all within six months he could be ‘disqualified’ from the council.

He said: “I have been asking for a loop in the chamber for 18 months and now it has got to the point where I am refusing to go until it is in place. The council’s policy has to make sure members and visitors can hear what is being said, it is the law.”

Ms Shephard said: “I do appreciate the difficulties Ken is struggling with but it is not in the best interests of the people who elected him that he not participate in meetings.

“We have been exploring options for a permanent loop but this was delayed after the move to the Old Chapel building fell through in December. We are now considering alterations to our existing building and it is very much on the agenda.”

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