Search

Official complaint after disabled grandma blocked from voting in Hampstead and Kilburn

PUBLISHED: 16:08 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:32 14 June 2017

Josephine Maxwell, pictured with her dog, Honey, was denied her right to vote.

Josephine Maxwell, pictured with her dog, Honey, was denied her right to vote.

Archant

The grandson of an amputee who could not enter her polling station because it did not have disabled access believes the council breached electoral regulations and equality laws.

Josephine Maxwell, who is wheelchair-bound, tried and failed to vote twice at the Oxford Kilburn (OK) club in Denmark Road, as it was not accessible.

The front entrance to the club – which has ramps and full disabled access – was closed.

When Josephine tried to vote at 8.50am on Thursday morning, she was left outside in the rain.

One of the officials said that they would get someone to help her enter – but they never returned and Josephine left.

When Josephine returned with her daughter, officials tried to bring out a two pieces of metal for the side entrance for Josephine to wheel onto, but it was not big enough.

They then asked if Josephine wanted to vote outside with a ballot paper, but she declined, as it was not a private polling booth.

Josephine’s grandson, Richard Briffa, has written a formal letter of complaint to Brent Council.

He wrote: “This is disgraceful behaviour displayed towards a disabled 79 year old woman and is also a breach of electoral regulations as well as her rights under the equality act.

“We are appalled at the attitude of the presiding officer and his complete lack of empathy as well as observance of electoral regulations.

“I would appreciate a swift response and investigation into this matter as you have denied at least one disabled person from their right to vote.

“On the 100th anniversary of Women being allowed to vote, the incompetence of your staff meant that one was unable to.”

Josephine, who lives in Queen’s Park, told the Ham&High: “I’m really disgusted.

“I don’t think they (Brent Council) should be able to get away with that.

“I’m not the only person in a wheelchair who must not have been able to vote.

“I really am upset. It’s my basic right. I should be allowed to vote.”

She added: “I feel degraded.”

After being contacted by our paper, Brent Council was only able to confirm the station was accessible around 3pm on election day.

This means other disabled voters could have been turned away.

Responding to the complaint, a Brent Council spokeswoman said: “We regret that that Ms. Maxwell experienced difficulty when she initially went to vote last Thursday. Our Presiding Officer followed the Electoral Commission guidance that if a voter is unable to gain access to a polling station, their ballot paper is brought to them. The issue of access to the Polling Station was later resolved, and we made every effort to contact Ms Maxwell to encourage her to return.

“We are currently responding to the complaint from Ms Maxwell’s family.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Kilburn Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Kilburn Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Kilburn Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Kilburn & Brent News Stories

24 minutes ago

Jubilee line drivers are to strike for two days next month in a row over new timetables.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

People all round the world have been awaiting this Saturday with eager anticipation.

Friday, May 18, 2018

An Overground user group are angry at transport bosses for failing to tell commuters about a time change for a rush-hour “ghost train”.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A sickle cell charity in Harlesden is raising money for a headstone for a former Labour councillor who died suddenly aged 34.

Friday, May 18, 2018

A crack bowls player from Wembley has become the first person in London to undergo a high-tech computer-guided shoulder replacement procedure.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Rotting birds and mounds of excrement that fall from a bridge in Willesden are blighting the lives of motorists and pedestrians - but rail chiefs claim they have no cash to sort it out.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A planning application has been lodged to change the use of a former popular music venue so it can be demolished for a block of flats and a medical centre.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Francesca Martinez, Sara Pascoe and Alexei Sayle are among the big comedy names performing at a charity fundraiser in aid of a humanitarian project in Gaza.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Wembley Sailing Club is hosting a Push the Boat Out event on Sunday May 20, where those interested in taking up the sport are invited to experience the club in action.

The Granville has begun taking bookings for workspaces and events ahead of its opening this spring.

Brent Clinical Commissioning Group has announced changes to the community’s cardiology service.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Read Kilburn News

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Brent & Kilburn Times
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now