On Tuesday 25th January members of the campaign group attended Scrutiny Panel as witnesses. The Chair of the Panel, Leader of the Opposition Councillor Howard Jones, gave us a very fair opportunity to present our views and explain the issues.
Jane Young, Ali Kashmiri, Baroness Campbell, Ann Macfarlane and Pat Page all spoke to the panel, explaining the reality of life as a disabled person and how the council’s proposals would damage the human rights, life chances and opportunities for disabled people in the borough.
Ali presented a video diary of his daily life to illustrate the importance of independence living support whereby his personal assistants literally act as his arms and legs to enable him to live a full life. He also explained how expensive it is to live as a disabled person, including some examples of the cost of essential equipment which is not provided by the NHS.
On Tuesday 18 January a petition of 1579 signatures was presented to Full Council and Jane Young spoke for 5 minutes on behalf of the campaign group. This was then followed by a 30-minute debate in which several councillors spoke. Continue reading
Ann Macfarlane OBE, who has campaigned for independent living in Kingston for many years, has written her own personal response to the Council’s proposals. She’s asking our elected members to consider the history of independent living in Kingston, reminding them that in the 1980’s Kingston was at the forefront of the development of independent living – disabled people employing their own staff to take control of their own lives and destinies. We mustn’t throw that away and return to the dark ages, of dependence and charity. Ann believes that the huge charges Kingston is planning to make for basic independent living support will undermine independent living itself, as disabled and older people find they cannot afford the help they need to retain control over their lives.
Read Ann’s response here!
Campaigners against the Council’s proposals to make huge increases to charges for social care were out in Kingston and New Malden town centres on Saturday 8 January. When we explained to shoppers and passers-by that Kingston Council is planning to charge us a huge amount for basic care, most were really interested. We collected hundreds of signatures on the petition and gave out lots of flyers. Continue reading
Baroness Campbell’s response to Kingston’s proposals are now available on the site, at https://janeyoungme.wordpress.com/social-care/social-care-charges-kingston/baroness-campbells-response/ Jane Campbell has held senior positions in national equalities and disability organisations and her considered response helps us understand why Kingston’s proposals are so dangerous for our future.