27th March 2015
We are writing to express our disappointment and dismay at the failure of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats to represent themselves at LDA England’s Citizen Jury event on 2nd April.
LDA England is the representative body for people with learning disabilities. It unites the representative bodies for people with learning disabilities, families and over 500 different charities, advocacy bodies and community organisations – the very organisations Government consults on policy. It speaks on behalf of millions of people and voters.
On 10th March 2015 Professor the Baroness Hollins and Gary Bourlet of People First England wrote on our behalf to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and the leaders of the other main political parties in England.
The Labour Party, the Green Party and UKIP immediately found suitable representatives; for example the Labour Party representative is Kate Green MP, their disability spokesperson. However, as yet, we have still had no adequate response from the Conservative Party or the Liberal Democrats.
Both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats claim that they supportMencap’s Hear My Voice campaign – and that they take seriously the rights of people with learning disabilities.
However, their actions in this instance speak louder than words. In ignoring LDA England’s request it would seem both parties are unwilling to engage with the voices and votes of millions of people, families and professionals.
Vicki Raphael, National Valuing Families Forum
Kerry Martin, National Forum for People with Learning Disabilities.
Jayne Leeson, Changing Our Lives
Katie Clarke, Bringing Us Together
Oi Mei Li, National Family Carer Network
Cathy Wintersgill, Connect in the North
Rosemary Trustam, Community Living
Mark O’Farrell, Preston Learning Disability Forum
Steven Rose, Choice Support
Lucy Hurst Brown, Brandon Trust
Jo Clare, Three C’s Support
Sally Warren, Paradigm
Alicia Wood, Housing and Support Alliance
Simon Duffy, The Centre for Welfare Reform
Sarah Maguire, Choice Support
Kim Foo, Heritage Care
Campaign for a Fair Society
Don’t cut us out West Sussex………’