Dear fellow Lib Dem members
Please note the following important information about the launch of a diversity initiative by a Liberal Democrat Minister designed to improve access and engagement to elected office.
The Access to Elected Office Fund offers individual grants of between £250 and £10,000 to disabled people who want to be selected as candidates for an election, or who are standing for election as not only MP’s, but also Local Council, PCC, and mayors.
The grants help meet the additional support needs that a disabled person has that are associated with their disability. If this support were not provided, a disabled person may face an additional barrier in the selection and campaign processes compared to a non-disabled person.
Earlier this week, Lynne Featherstone MP launched the Access to Elected Office Strategy to provide additional support for disabled people seeking elected office. The Strategy has been designed to level the playing field for potential disabled candidates and tackle the currently low levels of disabled people in political life.
As part of this strategy, they have:
- Set up a new fund to help disabled people who plan to stand for elections with the extra disability-related costs
Go to www.access-to-elected-office-fund.org.uk for more details
- Provide new training and development opportunities for people who are interested in a political career; including launching an introductory online training course and paid internships on the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement scheme.
Go on www.access-to-elected-office-training.org.uk for more details on the online training
Go to www.socialmobility.org.uk/speakers-parliamentary-placements-scheme for more details on the Parliamentary Placement Scheme, which is open for applications until 30 July 2012.
- Produced new online guidance on reasonable adjustments to help political parties meet their legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
Go to http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/equalities/public-political-equality/disabled-access-guidance/ to access the guidance
Please visit www.homeoffice.gov.uk/access-elected-office for more information about the strategy.
Please ensure that this information is circulated as widely as possible amongst all members of your local party.
Also, please feel free to make contact with me if you require any additional information or advice.
East Midlands Regional Diversity Champion