To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the commitment contained in the National Disability Strategy, published on 28 July 2021, to "support a new scheme from April 2022 to support those seeking to become candidates and once they have been elected to public office", what discussions they have had with the National Association of Local Councils on the (1) design, (2) delivery, and (3) evaluation, of the scheme.
8 June 2023
In 2022/23, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) funded the Local Government Association (LGA) to run:
- a campaign to attract more people with disabilities to stand for council elections;
- a coaching programme for disabled councillors to support them as resilient and confident leaders of their communities; and
- a bespoke leadership development programme for disabled councillors. This was created in collaboration with Disability Rights UK.
The LGA promoted the disability support work via media articles, social media, the LGA website, bulletins, newsletters, case studies, their own network of regional team networks, and disability charities.
35 disabled councillors received support – all were county, district, London Borough, Metropolitan Borough or unitary councillors. 13 people accessed the bespoke leadership development programme. 22 people accessed the coaching offer.
The campaign to attract more people to stand for election offered advice and support to encourage disabled members of the public to stand rather than working with specific candidates.
This work was one element of a wider sector support programme DLUHC funded the LGA to run: https://www.local.gov.uk/publications/sector-support-offer-2022-23. As the programme is aimed at principal authorities, NALC, who represent the interests of town and parish councils, were not directly involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of the disability support work.