DR UK statement on the Enable fund

Thu,2 April 2020
News Health & Social Care

The EnAble Fund for Elected Office is intended to cover the additional financial costs associated with a disability, that would otherwise prevent someone from seeking elected office. The Fund is provided by the Government Equalities Office and is administered by Disability Rights UK on behalf of the Local Government Association (LGA).

The government has postponed planned elections until 2021. Practically, this leaves potential candidates without a funding option for future elections as things stand. DR UK has released the following statement:

“We have been informed by the Government Equalities Office that as they are only able to extend a contract by six months, they cannot extend the EnAble Fund as far as May 2021. We have challenged the decision to cancel the contract and asked them to review their rules about extensions. We have asked them to pledge that they will put something in place for next year's local elections. However, they have only been able to advise us that the government is considering options for future support for disabled candidates ahead of next year's elections, in connection with the National Strategy for Disabled People. We are not satisfied with the response from the Government Equalities Office - disabled people deserve more than ‘a consideration of options’.

“Disabled people seeking elected office need a permanent fund to assist in removing the barriers they face. We have already raised this issue with the Disability Unit, who are responsible for the Strategy, and with the Minister for Disabled People.”