A challenge for New Labour
Ten commandments for immediate action

To mark the election of a new and supposedly radical government, we will issue a set of challenges, which will be sent to our local MP's and to the appropriate ministers in Tony Blairs cabinet when they are appointed. The responses (if any) will be monitored and posted on this page.

New commandments for new Labour

We ask our MP's and new cabinet to consider the following priorities for action, What attention they will give to them, and when we can expect to see some results?
We call for:

  • 1. Immediate and emergency action to ensure that the Lords decision in the Gloucestershire case is invalidated. That is we demand a restoration of a needs led absolute duty upon local authorities to provide the care in the community

  • 2. The government to take whatever fiscal means are necessary to ensure that local authorities have the resources to spend on care/adaptations and assurances that these funds will be ring fenced so that they cannot be spent on other non related services.

  • 3. The introduction of new regulations giving statutory powers to the Disability Council to pursue and where necessary prosecute cases of discrimination, on the lines of the equal opportunities and racial equality commissions.

  • 4. The Immediate implementation of remaining sections of Tom Clarke's 1986 Services and Representation Act and an end to the delay in implementing the extensions to part M of Building regulations to include housing.

  • 5. The government to bring forward the dates for implementing next stages of Disability Discrimination Act with regard to the duty to make adjustments and the introduction of transport regulations.

  • And to allocate finances from the millennium fund to facilitate this as the only proper and lasting way to mark the new millennium.

  • 6. An Immediate review of recent social security regulations which have had a negative impact on disabled people. including the scrapping of housing benefit cuts for single people under the 60. an overhaul of the incapacity for work test, payments of DLA mobility whilst in hospital, restoration of full backdating of benefits and last but not least revision of the rights of appeal which have been steadily loaded against unrepresented appellants.

  • 7. Parliamentary reform to ensure that private members bills relieve a proper hearing and are only ever defeated on legitimate grounds not the ruritanian procedural farces we witnessed all too often under the last government.

  • 8. Reform of the legal system to ensure that individuals are given the resources to challenge government and local authority decisions quickly and easily whilst limiting of the scope for local authorities and government to involve individuals in lengthy and potentially expensive appeals to a circus of higher and more remote courts. A Courts judgement should stand and should only be counter challenged in exceptional circumstances if a judge in a lower court does not have the legal knowledge to make such a decision, then that judge is unfit to be in office.

  • 9. An end to the massaging unemployment figures by inappropriate use of poorly funded and administered "training courses". Everybody should have equal access to suitable training without it prejudicing their rights to benefit and forcing them into unsuitable and short term expedient courses or low paid work.

  • 10. Finally if these demands appear to be overtly political so be it. Charities should have the right to engage in the full political process without restraint. If it has become apparent that one or other named political party has become inherently resistant to the principles of equality and human rights which the charity stands for it is both a duty and a right for that charity to actively engage the issue and not step around it for fear of incurring the wrath of the charities commission.

Governments may change, but our rights do not.

First of the replies comes from Jim Cunningham one of our local M.P's

"Whilst noting the contents of your fax you will be aware that I am in no position to make any promises along th lines that you are seeking.

However I will articulate your concerns on individual and collective issues as I have previously done over the last five years.

An honest answer Jim. we await the others


Copyright 1997 Laurence Arnold, Coventry Council of Disabled People
This Page was created on, Saturday, May 3rd, 1997
Most recent revision Saturday, May 3rd, 1997