Sep 172011
 

I recently learned that the Welfare Reform Bill – which is currently being debated in the House of Lords – was having the debate moved to a smaller not so disabled accessible committee room.

Concerned about this I e-mailed the members of the House of Lords (some of whom are themselves disabled) – about getting the debate back in the House of Lords where disabled Lords and disabled members of the public would have access to debating or viewing the proceedings.

Thinking on – it occurred to me that surely the minister for disabled people (Maria Miller mp) would be concerned that disabled people were not being able to access a bill that affects them substantially and directly and also surely it is her job to ensure disabled access – no matter what the bill.

Thus I e-mailed Maria Miller at  maria.miller.mp@parliament.uk with this

‘Dear Ms Miller

As minister for disabled I would like for you to ensure that the debate concerning the welfare reform bill remains accessible to the disabled many of whom will be hugely affected by the changes suggested within it.

Please read this blog.

http://thebrokenofbritain.blogspot.com/2011/09/urgent-appeal-for-action-now.html

As a representative of the disabled community I am sure you would want us to have equal access – thank you for your help with this.

Kind Regards’

the reply I received was

‘Maria Miller MP

Basingstoke

Thank you for your email, if you live within the parliamentary constituency of Basingstoke please make sure your message contains

Full name

Address, including Postcode

Day time telephone number

If you are contacting me in my capacity as Minister for Disabled People please resend your email to

ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk’

and then later

‘Thank you for your email to Maria Miller MP. As the issues you raise relate to Maria’s responsibilities as Minister at the Department for Work and Pensions, I have forwarded your email to her Ministerial Office for attention. The email address to use for future reference is ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Kind regards
Anastasia’
I then received a generic response from the dwp!
Now how on earth and why on earth is a minister for disabilities job/post within the dwp? and is it not her job to ensure disabled access for all at the Houses of Parliament?
The reply I got from the dwp, which does not address the point I raised regarding disabled access – but just goes on to wibble about ministers being too busy to reply – that this fits into their remit and a wibble about how all the changes in the WRB are good for the sick and disabled and carers are all great for us!!! lol!! I wish!
The only results I can draw from this correspondence is that the minister for disabled people is not a minister for disabled people at all – but a dwp minister and that there is no minister for disabled people – not even for those disabled people in The House of Lords!!!
Cross posted with thanks from Twisted News