Residents are reminded to do all they can to make the lives of blind people easier, as they try to manoeuvre around town with a guide dog.

Irvine West councillor Scott Gallacher has asked people to think of the blind and partially sighted after complaints from a resident regarding railings.

Paterson Avenue resident Craig Happell, who lost his sight a decade ago after being diagnosed with Leber’s optic neuropathy, asked if anything could be done to add a new handrail at the beach, but says the biggest problems for blind people are bins left across pavements and dog fouling.

Craig said: “It’s just daft things that other people deal with quite easily – but can be quite awkward to get round about.

“It’s hard to explain to folk who can see. It’s like the councillor said, he would never have thought of that as he doesn’t use the beach handrail. The biggest issue that you’ve got is wheelie bins, but to be honest that’s often the binmen. “After they have been they’re often strewn over the pavement.

“There has been the odd occasion when I’ve just turned around and gone home because there’s just no way to get past if there’s a car on the pavement.

“Folk think you get a guide dog and they’ll just take you anywhere you want, but don’t realise what it’s like to get about.

“The biggest issues are bins and dog fouling. There is the state of pavements as well and overgrown hedges. Also when walking through town or the mall is these advertising boards – it can be absolutely horrendous.”

Conservative councillor Gallacher said: “I was contacted by a blind Ward resident who was asking about the handrail on the stairs that led down on to the beach.

“The only handrail there is on the extreme right hand side, the guide dog is trained to walk on the left, so there is no issue getting down on to the sand, but, an issue arises on the way back up.

“I contacted the relevant council department, who later confirmed they will install a new handrail in the middle of the stairs, doing away with one problem the blind community face.

“Those of us who are sighted tend to take many things for granted. With a little bit of effort, we can all work together to help those who cannot see.”

Residents are suggested to report broken street lights, cracked paving slabs, potholes, damaged drain covers or anything else that might prove a hazard. They have also been asked to clean up litter, especially broken glass which can injure guide dogs, and bulky items which can create a hazard.