COUNCILLORS FROM RIVAL political parties in Moray have come together in an appeal for disabled people to have greater access to political participation.
Labour councillor for Fochabers/Lhanbryde, Sean Morton, has joined with the SNP councillor for Elgin City North, Patsy Gowans, in petitioning their Moray Council colleagues to sign up to the ‘One in Five’ campaign.
The national campaign seeks to encourage, empower and increase political participation amongst disabled people in Scotland. It follows what has been described as an “incredible upsurge” in political enthusiasm in Scotland over recent years.
Use of the ‘One in Five’ title reflects that one in five people of working age in Scotland is disabled – with the campaign seeking to have political participation and representation “that reflects our society”.
A motion is to be put to councillors at a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday by Councillors Morton and Gowans, asking that the Moray Council “agrees to sign up to the ‘One in Five’ campaign which calls on organisations to sign a charter that pledges to make society and politics more accessible for disabled people”.
The motion calls on all political parties and organisations to sign up to the ‘One in Five’ charter which would include all members being asked about individual needs which are actioned to ensure inclusion.
It also asks that meetings are held in accessible venues, material is available in a variety of formats, organisational tasks and responsibilities are clearly defined and that organisations aim to increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting disabled people.
In what will be seen as a clear swipe at the Council’s handling of a group of disabled volunteers at an awards ceremony in June, when the venue at Elgin City’s Boroughbriggs Stadium was not suitable for wheelchair users, the motion states: “Council also agrees to invite disabled people who could not publicly receive awards at a recent council awards ceremony to receive those awards at the next awards ceremony.”