This is very welcome news, brought about in part by the Lib Dem MP for Eastbourne, Stephen Lloyd:
People with disabilities are to be offered thousands of pounds to help them run for elected office in next year’s council elections as part of an effort to tackle under-representation in town halls.
Grants averaging £4,000 will be made available to some to cover costs of campaign expenses including specialist transport, screen reader software, sign language interpretation and braille transcription.
Only 10% of councillors have a disability, compared with about 20% of the UK population. The government is offering £250,000, which is expected to fund around 60 candidates. [The Guardian]
The Access to Elected Office fund provided such grants since its launch as a pilot in 2012 under the Coalition government, but after the 2015 general election the Conservatives put it into limbo.
It’s good news that it is coming back.
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