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Disabled People (Elected Office)

Volume 528: debated on Tuesday 24 May 2011

1. What progress he has made on implementing his proposals for additional support for disabled people to achieve elected office. (56959)

We conducted a public consultation exercise, which ran from 16 February to 11 May, to seek views on a range of proposals designed to help to remove barriers faced by disabled people who are seeking elected office. We are currently analysing the responses, and intend to announce the strategy later this year.

I thank the Deputy Prime Minister for that answer. In Hastings we have 32 councillors and in East Sussex 49, but not one of them is registered disabled. Can he give any advice to the leaders of my councils about what can be done to encourage more disabled people to get involved in local politics?

My hon. Friend is right: the issue is applicable not just to this place, but to councils up and down the country. There are clearly barriers impeding the participation of people with disabilities in politics at all levels. I pay tribute to those who were involved in the Speaker’s Conference on Parliamentary Representation, which was started some years ago and identified this as a problem. In our access to elected office strategy, which we will announce, we will address how that might affect local councils as well as this place.