Campaigners are calling on the next mayor to ensure that the views and needs of London’s 1.2 million disabled residents are properly included in City Hall’s decision making.
Disability rights groups Transport for All, Inclusion London and the Alliance for Inclusive Education say their members “experience inequality in every area of their lives such as housing, education and transport.”
The groups have published a manifesto setting out the changes and policies the new mayor must adopt if they’re to boost disabled Londoners’ quality of life and make the city an easier place to live and travel in.
A key demand is the creation of a new disability equality adviser within the Greater London Authority “with sufficient authority to truly embed a social model approach to disability across the GLA.”
The new mayor is also being urged to work with employers to promote the employment of Deaf and Disabled people and raise the awareness and take up of the Access To Work scheme.
And the groups want planning rules which require 10% of all new homes to be wheelchair accessible and all new properties to meet Lifetime Homes standards to be safeguarded.
On transport they’re urging Transport for London and bus operators to invest in more spacious buses so that wheelchair users, assistance dog users and passengers with walkers and buggies “are not put into conflict when travelling.”
There’s also a call for TfL to mandate that at least a quarter of all minicabs are wheelchair accessible and for regular meetings with key members of the mayor’s team and Assembly Members to ensure disability inclusion is properly factored into decision making.
Launching the manifesto earlier this week, Faryal Velmi of Transport for All said “We welcome the opportunity of the London Elections 2016 to put issues affecting Disabled Londoners firmly on the agenda and look forward to working with the next Mayor and newly elected London Assembly members to build a city that is equal and inclusive for all”.
Londoners will elect a new Mayor and the 25 members of the London Assembly on May 5th. Candidates for Mayor include Conservative Zac Goldsmith, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, Liberal Democrat Caroline Pidgeon, the Green party’s Sian Berry and UKIP’s Peter Whittle.