PEOPLE with a disability will get a fairer deal under a far-reaching action plan set out by the borough council.

The Disability Equality Scheme lays out the council's commitment to improving the quality of life for disabled people over the next three years.

Produced following consultation with disabled people, the action plan aims to improve council policies and service delivery, encourage more positive attitudes to disabled people and get more disabled people joining in public life.

Better medical treatments and the fact people are living longer means that by 2020 it is estimated that one in three people in the UK will be living with a physical, sensory or learning impairment.

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 required all local authorities to publish a Disability Equality Scheme, but the borough council aims to go beyond the letter of the law with its action plan.

Principal policy officer David Tighe said: 'We want not only to meet our statutory obligations but also to ensure our policies, plans and ways of working address the needs of disabled people and, where our role and resources allow, the priorities identified by them.

'We recognise that in Ellesmere Port and Neston, as with the rest of the UK, disabled people don't always have the same opportunities or choices as the rest of the community, and we want to change that.

'We plan to continue widespread consultation with disabled people to ensure the actions we propose take into account the needs and aspirations of disabled people.'

In its action plan the council also pledges to tackle harassment and train its staff to understand the needs of people with disabilities, including encouraging staff to learn British Sign Language.

The council's revamped web-site is already accessible to visually impaired people and its publications will be made available in a variety of formats, including Braille, large print and audio upon request.

The Disability Equality Scheme can be viewed on the council's website at and copies are available by calling the council offices on 0151 356 6691.