DAA News Network

UK: Victory for crucial disabled people’s campaign in Edinburgh

Posted 26/11-09 at 14.04

Plans to tender care services, against the wishes of and without consulting disabled people, was suspended after a 10 hour meeting of the City Council. 300 people attended and police had to be called in to control the crowd. The whole process of tendering will now be reviewed.

This follows a widely supported campaign by disabled people opposed to the re-tendering of services that would have left many with greatly restricted choice. During this process applications for direct payments had also been frozen, leaving some people with no support.

It was argued that the Council's concern with saving money had led to accepting the cheapest tenders. This would have meant a poorer quality services. Douglas Kerr, a committee member of Share Scotland, said, "Some of these providers are like own-brand beans in supermarkets. Yes they are beans, but only just, and you wouldn't want to put up with them every day."


For full details of the campaign and what the decision of the Council is likely to mean for disabled people go to:


Editorial comment: Social care is organised differently in Scotland than the rest of the UK. Nonetheless, Edinburgh Council's attempt to cut costs by targeting services for disabled people could be repeated throughout the Britain, as financial difficulties mount for all local authorities.

Although no exact figures are available, talk is of some councils having to cut spending by between a quarter to a third over the next few years. When this happens - and it is ‘when' not ‘if'' - support for disabled and older people, as well as children, will be hard hit. The much touted personalisation agenda - allowing people more choice and independence - is also sure to be compromised.

In these circumstances, the example of the fight back by disabled people and their allies in Edinburgh is of immense value for disabled people throughout the UK.

It must be stressed, however, that so far disabled people in the Scottish capital have won but a temporary reprieve. DAA will keep its Our Rights' readers informed about disabled people's ongoing battle for dignity and independence in Edinburgh.


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