Chesterfield MP calls on the town’s businesses to ensure equal access for people with assistance dogs

Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield and Shadow Small Business Minister, is urging all businesses in the town to provide equal access to people with assistance dogs – and wants members of the public to help report businesses that refuse entry.

Mr Perkins said, “If we saw a wheelchair user being refused entry to a shop, café or taxi, we would quite rightly be very angry. But across the country, there are far too many people with assistance dogs reporting that they are being refused access and not enough is being done to address this.”

A recent survey by the charity Guide Dogs shows that nearly eight out of ten (75%) assistance dogs owners have at some point been turned away by a business because of their dog. Taxis and private hire vehicles were highlighted as one of the worst culprits for refusing entry to assistance dogs, despite this being illegal under The Equality Act 2010.

Toby Perkins recently completed a blindfolded walk with a guide dog to raise awareness of the risks of street clutter

Toby Perkins recently completed a blindfolded walk with a guide dog to raise awareness of the risks of street clutter

Toby said, “Taxi drivers and operators face fines of up to £1,000 for refusing access to assistance dogs and can have their licenses removed. Unfortunately, blind or partially-sighted people can have trouble identifying the firms or individuals discriminating against them. I would urge operators in Chesterfield to ensure their drivers are complying with the law and I would ask members of the public who witness discrimination taking place to help report these incidents. I have also written to the Government urging more action be taken”

Anyone wishing to report incidents can contact Toby’s office on 01246 386 286 or at toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk

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Welcome

I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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Tel: 01246 386286
Email: toby.perkins.mp@parliament.uk
Post: 113 Saltergate, Chesterfield, S40 1NF

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