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Disabled People: Independent Living Strategy

Volume 705: debated on Tuesday 25 November 2008

My right honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Jonathan Shaw) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

On 3 March, the Government published the five-year cross-Government Independent Living Strategy. The strategy sets out a series of government commitments aimed at ensuring that disabled people have choice and control over the support they need to live their everyday lives.

The strategy was produced in partnership with disabled people, and we need to ensure that disabled people are actively involved in making the strategy a reality and checking that good progress is being made. Consequently, the launch of the strategy saw the start of a consultation to seek views on how best to do this.

The consultation closed on 20 June, and I am pleased to announce that I am today placing copies of the Government’s response to this consultation in both House Libraries.

Following the consultation, and the further involvement of disabled people in the development of the Government’s response, the Government have decided to implement the following steps to make sure disabled people are actively involved in the implementation and monitoring of the strategy:

establish an Independent Living Scrutiny Group to review progress on implementing the strategy;

develop a web-based and print resource to support disabled people’s involvement in local strategic partnership boards;

work with Equality 2025 to look at how best to use and develop existing networks to form a “network of networks”, creating a two-way channel for communication between the Government and disabled people;

examine some of the options, for example, specific courses suggested by respondents for building leadership capacity; and

work to help disabled people’s organisations benefit more from new opportunities to build capacity in the third sector.

The Government’s response will be available on the Office for Disability Issues website later today at http://www.odi.gov.uk/working/independentlivingstrategy.asp.