In December 2018 the Conservative Government introduced an EnAble Fund to support candidates with a disability or health condition to support them when standing for elected office in the English Council elections in May 2019 and the Police & Crime Commissioner elections in May 2020.
The fund was worth £250,000 and was provided by the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and is administered by Disability Rights UK.
The Fund covered the cost of the reasonable adjustments required to enable someone to stand for elected office. This could include items such as BSL interpreters, Assistive Technology, a Personal Assistant to assist with specific tasks, or taxi fares where other modes of transport are not appropriate.
In May 2018 the Minister for Women & Equalities - Penny Mordaunt MP - along with Chloe Smith MP (Minister in the Cabinet Office) and Sarah Newton MP (Minister for Disability, Health & Work) issued a joint written Ministerial statement to announce the Fund would be re-introduced.
As the statement made clear, "If we want to inspire and encourage businesses and other organisations to place inclusivity at the heart of their work, then politicians should lead by example. Political parties also have a duty to ensure they encourage and support their candidates as well as support to their workforce and ensure a level playing field in recruitment."
Through our 'Accessible Politics' project the CDG is working with the Conservative Party to encourage more disabled people to become involved in the Party and to seek election to public office.
CDG Member - Barry Ginley - provides a personal perspective as to the value and importance of the EnAble Fund.
To find out more about what the Fund was designed to achieve please visit the Enable section of the Disability Rights UK website.
If you would like to discuss the Fund further with a member of the CDG then please do get in contact with us via the Contact section of the CDG website.