Political

The EnAble Fund for Elected Office: help for candidates with a disability or health condition

I’ve previously covered the work by Stephen Lloyd MP and others to restore the grants to help people with disabilities and health conditions stand for public office. Since that success, the fund has been relaunched. Here is more information about it from the Liberal Democrats at the Local Government Association, including how you can apply to the fund if you are standing for a local council or Police and Crime Commissioner election:

EnAble Fund – access costs for disabled candidates standing for elected office

The EnAble Fund for Elected Office is intended to cover the additional financial costs associated with a disability or health condition that would otherwise prevent someone from seeking elected office. The Fund is provided by the Government Equalities Office and is administered by Disability Rights UK. The Fund was launched on 3 December 2018 and is supported by the LGA. The LGA Liberal Democrat Group has played an instrumental part in lobbying Government to reintroduce the fund.

What can the fund pay for?
The fund can cover the cost of the reasonable adjustments required to enable someone to stand for elected office. This could include items such as BSL interpreters, assistive technology, a personal assistant to assist with specific tasks, or taxi fares where other modes of transport are not appropriate. The fund runs until May 2020 and is primarily intended to support disabled people seeking local election in May 2019 and the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections in May 2020.

What does the fund not cover?
It is important to note that the item(s) the fund pays for, are items that without which, the applicant would not be able to seek elected office. For example, funding for taxis would only be considered where other forms of transport are not an option due to the nature of the applicant’s disability or health condition. Similarly, a personal assistant would have to be deemed necessary due to the person’s health-related needs, as opposed to being used as ‘extra help’.

The overall aim of the fund is to create a level playing field for disabled people and people with a long term health condition. The fund, therefore, cannot pay for any costs that are not considered a reasonable adjustment, such as costs directly associated with campaigning or campaign materials; nor can it pay for any ongoing reasonable adjustments or further support if the applicant is elected.

Who can apply?
To apply for the fund you must have a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

You must also have a genuine intention to seek elected office, for an election that takes place during the timescale of the fund. For a full list of local authorities that will have elections on 2 May 2019, please see www.local.gov.uk/about/our-meetings-andleadership/political-composition/local-government-elections.

How do I find out more?
Disablity Rights UK are overseeing the fund. To find out how to apply and to discuss eligibility, please contact 0330 995 0400 and select Option 1 or email enablefund@disabilityrightsuk.org.

With thanks to Terry Stacy at the LGA for letting me reuse this copy from their recent mailing.

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