City Council policy on mobility scooters approved

A new policy to ensure the safe usage of mobility scooters within Aberdeen City Council sheltered housing blocks has been agreed.

The decision will help to address the potential hazard of scooters being stored in communal areas close to heaters and exit points.

Concerns were raised that this could pose a danger in the event of a fire or any other reason to evacuate buildings.

The scooters are becoming increasingly popular as a means of getting around for those with mobility and other health issues.

A report to councillors on the Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee today (Wednesday, January 20) agreed that the scooters can enhance the quality of life.

However, it was also noted that the City Council must do everything to ensure the health and safety of all tenants, staff and visitors to sheltered and very sheltered housing blocks.

The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 places a general requirement for anyone in control of premises to take appropriate action to prevent fire and to mitigate the detrimental effects of fire including access to and from common areas and the maintenance of escape routes from the building.

The City Council's Mobility Scooter policy was drawn up in conjunction with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

The report to councillors noted that the policy would take some time to bed-in, and will require housing staff to engage with tenants to explain the benefits and offer advice to those who own scooters or are thinking of acquiring one.

The initial focus will be on the issue of safe storage, while technical officers are considering the potential use of charging facilities.

Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee Convener, Councillor Neil Cooney, said: "These are general rules and I think they are sensible given how popular these scooters have become.

"We will consult on a building to building basis, and the policy will be practical.

"We have to be clear – permission to store scooters will not be unreasonably withheld and we are not banning scooters.

"This is about making sure that they are stored safely and are used in a safe environment."