Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Disabled Children Matter

Providing an update to an earlier post, I've noticed the BBC has reported that most Assembly Members have now backed a call for £21m to be safeguarded to support disabled children in Wales.

Campaigners gathered outside the Senedd on Tuesday to demand "significant extra resources" from ministers. Children's Minister Jane Hutt told AMs she was considering the funding issue and also how best to develop flexible services to meet individual needs.

Labour AM Lynne Neagle said she was encouraged so many backbench AMs, from all parties, had supported her call for better funding by signing up to a statement of opinion she had tabled in the assembly. She urged the minister to respect the "majority opinion" in the assembly and do everything she could to get the £21m spent in the way most AMs wanted.

Lee Ellery, 23, from Swansea has cerebral palsy and was hopeful ministers would respond positively to the campaign:

Disabled people need to have the services that everybody's entitled to - education, social services and all the other services that go with it. The problem for many disabled people is the transition process from school to college. They don't have the correct careers advice and general problems from people not seeing disabled people quite as they should. They sort of assume that they should be able to do jobs which are not the jobs that they want to do themselves.
The following is an update of the list of Assembly Members that have added their names to the Statement of Opinion:

OPIN-2007- 0082 - Mae Plant Anabl yn Bwysig/Disabled Children Matter
Codwyd gan / Raised By:
Lynne Neagle
Tanysgrifwyr / Subscribers:
Andrew RT Davies 13/11/2007
Karen Sinclair 13/11/2007
Mark Isherwood 13/11/2007
Joyce Watson 13/11/2007
Sandy Mewies 13/11/2007
Ann Jones 13/11/2007
Jeff Cuthbert 14/11/2007
Janice Gregory 14/11/2007
Darren Millar 14/11/2007
Nicholas Bourne 14/11/2007
Huw Lewis 14/11/2007
Lorraine Barrett 15/11/2007
Christine Chapman 15/11/2007
Eleanor Burnham 15/11/2007
David Melding 15/11/2007
Mike German 15/11/2007
Lesley Griffiths 15/11/2007
Val Lloyd 15/11/2007
Leanne Wood 15/11/2007
Alun Davies 19/11/2007
Kirsty Williams 19/11/2007
Paul Davies 19/11/2007
Trish Law 20/11/2007
Irene James 20/11/2007
Jonathan Morgan 21/11/2007
Mick Bates 22/11/2007
Mohammad Asghar 22/11/2007
Bethan Jenkins 22/11/2007
Alun Cairns 22/11/2007
Nick Ramsay 26/11/2007


Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 08:03  

This campaign has really taken off, but will WAG see sense? Or will they give all the extra budget cash to farmers?

Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 09:41  

Is there a point to Statements of Opinion if they can get a majority of AMs and still not alter Assembly policy?
Seems like an easy get-out for some backbench Labour and Plaid AMs to sign this and yet do nothing to put pressure on the coalition government.

Miss Wagstaff 28 November 2007 at 09:50  

My guess is that it's an easy way for AMs to express their opinion on a matter. Statements of Opinion can be tabled by any Assembly Member, other than a Member of the Government, on matters affecting Wales. Statements of Opinion may be supported, opposed or subject to comment.

At least this one is related to the work of the Assembly. There are others that have no influence whatsoever - OPIN-2007- 0086 - Peidiwch ag Ymosod ar Iran/Don't Attack Iran.

Luby Lou 28 November 2007 at 10:09  

What this means, Anon, is that more than half of the Assembly beleives that the disabled kids should get the cash. That makes it pretty hard for a minister like Andrew Davies to ignore when he lays his budget next week. He would do well to sit up and take notice on this one.

Miss Wagstaff 28 November 2007 at 10:29  

Luby Lou - Hopefully so, unless the government is as hard as nails, and can figure out a way to get out of this situation without looking heartless.

Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 12:04  

Alun Cairns summed it up well in finance committee yesterday - he asked the Finance Minister if a Statement of Opinion like this made a difference or did backbench AMs not matter. That's a key point here.

Really glad the comments on this issue this time round have kept away from the personal and the vile. just look at the Equal Opps Committee on the 8th November to see how far removed Helen Mary and Lynne really are on this - not that far at all.

This is a campaign that needs to be fought openly and with moral conviction, and is demeaned by personal attacks. Let's keep it that way.

Robbie Clifton 28 November 2007 at 12:40  

In all fairness to Lynne Neagle, it doesn't seem like she gives two hoots about how / why people are getting behind her on this, she just wants to get the cash. For a supposed 'brit nat' her statement of opinion straddles every party, which can only be a good thing. Good work on her part.

cadnawes 28 November 2007 at 13:21  

Should the Welsh Government spend £21m of the total budget on disabled children? If you take out the words 'disabled children’ and replace them with ‘elderly homeless’ or ‘orphans’ or ‘terminally ill’ or even ‘lost puppies’ you would have the same response.

The hysteria on this issue is just being generated by Assembly Members who have chosen carefully an issue no one is going to disagree with. Obviously disabled children want more money but don’t we all?

Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 13:48  

cadnawes - you are clearly a fool. Go away.

Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 14:37  

According to press reports there is over £400m in the Assembly reserves or is this being kept for political goodies in the run up to the next Assembly election.

Huw 28 November 2007 at 14:48  

It's always kept for political hot potatoes, a minor catastrophe, or having to pay for consultants to bail out failing projects.

Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 16:30  

"cadnawes - you are clearly a fool. Go away."

Actually it's a fair comment to make.

Miss Wagstaff 28 November 2007 at 16:44  

Leaving out the personal insults, the £21m was specifically allocated towards disabled children in this case.

cadnawes 28 November 2007 at 17:45  

"Leaving out the personal insults, the £21m was specifically allocated towards disabled children in this case."

What is the point in devolution if we live by this rule?

Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 17:57  

"What is the point in devolution if we live by this rule?" Because it was additional to the annual grant.

Anonymous 28 November 2007 at 18:06  

"What is the point in devolution if we live by this rule?"

What's the point in devolution if we provide worse services to the most vulnerable people in society? With the freedom to make choices come the responsibility to safeguard the interests of all people, not just those without disability. Frankly we always come last and its time things changed.

BBC UK Politics

BBC Welsh Politics


Welsh Political News

UK News from Times Online

Telegraph Politics


Words © The Author [Posted by...] 2007 2008 2009 2010. Comments © their authors.


This is a personal blog - any views expressed are not those of the authors' employer(s), or organisation(s) they are involved with or represent.

Comments posted by readers of this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors.

We don't accept any responsibility for the content of any blogs or websites linked from this site. Links exist to provide a wider experience of politics and life on the internet or to reciprocate for links on this blog.

For further information please refer to our Terms and Conditions.
Copyright © Miss Wagstaff Presents 2007 2008 2009 2010
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.

  © Blogger template 'Perfection' by 2008

Back to TOP