Local Government White Paper

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2002 National Disabled Members' Conference
4 July 2002
Carried as Amended

This Conference welcomes the White Paper’s encouragement to local authorities not to make voluntary organisations bid for funds on an annual basis. Many voluntary organisations provide invaluable services to disabled people and employ UNISON members.

We also call for the Government to make the following changes to the White Paper proposals to meet the needs of disabled people:

1)Providing that the new powers to prohibit the charging for discretionary services prohibit local authorities charging for services on which disabled people depend and/or include exemptions for those who are disabled;

2)Extending the Disability Discrimination Act to cover councillors and make all councillors eligible to apply for support from the access to work scheme;

3)Make sure that the new way of distributing the Education SSA does not affect the ability of Local Education Authorities (LEAs) to provide for the needs of disabled people;

4)Change relevant council tax regulations so that units providing ensuite residential care accommodation are treated as one unit rather than a number of separate units for council tax purposes;

5)Encourage the Government to use the new targeted grant to encourage local authorities to maintain and extend concessionary fare schemes that go beyond the statutory minimum;

This Conference calls on the National Disabled Members’ Self-Organised Group to work in partnership with the Local Government Service Group Executive to take on board the disability issues raised in this resolution and maximise the benefit of the White Paper for disabled people.

We also call on the National Disabled Members’ Committee to work in partnership with the Voluntary Sector National Forum to obtain more secure funding for disability voluntary organisations receiving funding for local authorities.