Secure bold commitments from candidates

We need to secure bold commitments from electoral candidates
ahead of the local council elections

Two individuals are participating in a protest at night outside Redbridge Town Hall. The person on the left is holding a sign that reads "Scrap Social Care Charges A Tax on Disability," and the person on the right is holding a sign saying "NO IFS NO BUTS NO DISABILITY CUTS."

We need to meet and secure commitments from electoral candidates ahead of the elections in May

Securing commitments from election candidates is an important way to make sure issues impacting on Disabled people are on the council’s agenda  To do this, we recommend doing any or all of the following:

We have co-produced with Disabled people and Disabled People’s Organisations 9 pledges listed below. However, what you ask candidates to commit to will depend on your local context.

Pledge 1 – Co-production: Nothing About Us Without Us

Pledge to work with Deaf and Disabled people and Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations (DDPOs). This should include:

  1. Resourcing strategic engagement and co-production of services with Disabled people.
  2. Funding DDPOs to provide Deaf and Disabled Londoners with independent and fully accessible information, advice, and advocacy services.
  3. Pledge to incorporate an intersectional approach that takes into account racism, social class, age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, and sexual orientation, recognising the diversity of Disabled people.

Pledge 2 – Social Care

Ensure Disabled people have access to high-quality social care, which promotes independence, choice and control. This should include:

  • Councils pledge not to make further cuts to social care support packages.
  • Invest in community support and commit to expanding the flexibility of what Direct Payments can be spent on, trust disabled people to make our own decisions, and reduce bureaucracy for direct payments users.
  • Commit to scrapping social care charges by 2024. In the meantime,  freeze care charges in the 2023 council budget and uplift the Minimum Income Guarantee by 10%
  • Pledge to prioritise resources under the Care Act to ensure Disabled parents, especially mothers, are provided with support to fulfil their parental responsibilities, including support from adult social care instead of triggering child protection proceedings
  • To abolish debt recovery actions

Pledge 3 – Inclusive Education

Pledge to strengthen the commitment and resources to facilitate good inclusive education practice across the borough. This should include:

  • Local Councils commit to strategically using SEND and other education funding streams to support disabled pupils and students’ participation within mainstream education.
  • Local Councils commit to focusing their Department for Education funding bids to invest in strengthening and expanding inclusive education practice within local mainstream schools and post-16 provision.
  • Local Councils commit to developing and funding inclusive apprenticeship opportunities for disabled people.

Pledge 4 – Disability Hate Crime

Pledge to tackle hate crime and violence against Disabled people effectively. This should include:

  • Fund DDPOs as third party reporting centres and specialist advocacy providers for Disabled victims of hate crime.
  • Fund DDPOs to provide services for Disabled women who suffer more domestic violence and sexual assaults than non-disabled women.

Pledge 5 – Address the housing crisis

Ensure Disabled people have access to appropriate housing. This should include:

  • Building new accessible council housing and ensuring all existing accessible social housing is occupied by Disabled people.
  • Monitoring delivery of the London Plan’s accessible housing targets, preventing developers from using viability assessments to avoid the targets, and taking formal action against developers who do not deliver accessible homes.
  • Ensuring Disabled Facilities Grants are completed within 10 months from submitting a completed application and ensuring there are no excessive waits for pre-application assessment.

Pledge 6 – Address the cost of living crisis

Help Disabled people survive the cost of living crisis. This should include:

  • Providing emergency grants for food and energy and supporting and resourcing DDPOs to support Disabled people to access them.
  • Prioritising Disabled people for support from the discretionary fund for people who are not eligible for April’s council tax rebate.

Pledge 7 – Changing Places Toilets

Increase the number of Changing Places toilets to meet the increasing demand. Without them, many disabled people are forced into staying at home.

Pledge 8 – Open up employment opportunities to all Disabled people

  • Invest in employment support based on the Social Model of Disability and intersectional experiences of Disabled people.
  • Local councils lead by example and implement a comprehensive programme of action to ensure that the local authority becomes a leading, accessible and inclusive employer of Disabled people.

Pledge 9 – Accessibility: Transport and the Public Realm

Local councils pledge to use planning, licensing, and commissioning powers to remove barriers and increase accessibility. This should include:

  • Putting Disabled people and Disabled people’s organisations at the forefront of decision-making in the design of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and changes to the local physical environment.
  • Supporting an urgent review of regulation and guidance on public walkways to put pedestrians first and safeguard the needs of Disabled and older aged people.
  • Providing free disabled parking