Today in Full Council at County Hall I witnessed the absurd council vote of the century.
The Conservative motion was proposed by Councillor Temple and seconded by Councillor Owen.
“That this Council welcomes the recent review of the way we ensure a strategic approach to all issues of Equality and Diversity, and looks forward to the work to be undertaken in the new year by one of our recently re-launched consultative bodies, now constituted as a Disability Advisory Group.”
Despite the fact that I informed the members that there was no recent review 48 voted for the motion to welcome the recent review that does not exist. All six Independent members abstained as it is impossible to vote for or against welcoming a recent review that does not exist.
“I do not understand this motion Mr Chair as the current situation for disabled people in the East Riding is as follows:
- There are not enough dropped kerbs; tactile paving is wrongly placed, pavements are littered with advertising boards and parked cars.
- Housing stock is not adequate for disabled people’s needs.
- Mandatory disabled facilities grants are being so tightly regulated that they are not being made available to those who need them..
- Social care is being rationed. The average number of hours granted in the East Riding is 11 per week, compared with 22 in Hull (source BBC).
- Across the East Riding disabled people are struggling to access transport, shops, businesses, education, medical care and leisure pursuits.
In light of this, there needs to be a complete overhaul of strategy by ERYC to ensure that the basic rights of disabled people, under the Equality Act 2010 and the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities, are met.
In order to overhaul strategy, ERYC needs to do far more to educate members and officers in the rights, needs and aspirations of disabled people.
Holding a meeting of the Disability Advisory Group once a quarter is not going to be adequate to make the necessary changes.
At the first meeting, no adjustments were attempted for disabled members of the group. The layout didn’t allow everyone to get around the table and meant that wheelchair users were perched right at the end of the table, unable to get to refreshments. There was no microphone system set up, meaning that it was difficult to hear everyone.
Since the meeting on November 10th, there has been no notification of the next meeting, minutes issued or a promised contact list of attendees
Currently the Disability Advisory Group is just a box ticking exercise and nothing to celebrate.
Finally, it is impossible to welcome the recent review as there is no review. All there is is a Terms of Reference and this has not been seen by some members.
I will not be supporting this motion.“