A “Dog Bowl in One” for Guide Dogs’ Streets Ahead Campaign


Amongst the meetings and speeches I attended at last week’s Labour Party Conference, I got to see the fun side of things by playing some mini golf!!  This was for a good cause of course – to raise awareness of the Guide Dogs’ Streets Ahead campaign which aims to help keep our streets free from clutter.

 Street clutter, such as shop advertising boards and wheelie bins, can be a real blight on the UK streetscape and can be dangerous and disorientating for pedestrians who are blind and partially-sighted.  A recent survey by Guide Dogs found 97% of visually-impaired respondents reported finding it a problem on a daily or weekly basis, 57% reported suffering an injury from street clutter and 9% having to receive medical treatment.

To tackle cars parked on pavements – the most common concern – Guide Dogs is campaigning for a nationwide law prohibiting pavement parking, unless specifically permitted, as currently in place in Greater London.  This will help get rid of this barrier to mobility, and will help blind and partially-sighted people when they are out and about on their own, and not deter them from leaving home.

It was a fun way to spread a serious message, and I am happy to support Guide Dogs’ call for safer pedestrian footpaths to make our streets safer and accessible for all pedestrians.

 If you would like more information about Guide Dogs which provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially-sighted people across the UK, or their Streets Ahead campaign, you can contact James Kell in the press office on 0118 983 8192 or james.kell@guidedogs.org.uk

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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