Last week’s council elections saw the successful appointment of fifteen disabled candidates across Scotland.
The councillors were all part of the government financed Access to Elected Office Fund (Scotland). Disabled people’s organisation Inclusion Scotland, the funds administrators, is hailing it as an important step forward as disabled people from across the political spectrum were elected as councillors in twelve Scottish Local Authorities.
The fund provided support to disabled people standing for elected office by aiding with additional costs. Such as higher transport fees, communication support workers, adaptive equipment and other adjustments. Funding was granted solely to ensure disabled candidates had a more level playing field on which to compete against non-disabled opponents. The money awarded could not be used for regular campaign expenses.
Dr Sally Witcher, Chief Executive Officer, Inclusion Scotland said:
“This is a promising start towards much needed equality of representation for disabled people in politics. It goes to show what we disabled people can achieve if we have the right support, and the contribution we can then make to society.”
This election saw the culmination of the pilot project that provided financial assistance to a total of 44 potential candidates. Thirty nine of these went on to be selected and run as candidates and fifteen were successfully elected.
Read more: http://inclusionscotland.org
Image credit: Craig Chew-Moulding CC by 2.0