Disability Wales welcomes the statement today by Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, announcing the opening of the second stage of the Access to Elected Office Fund Wales.
The Fund will now be open to disabled people wishing to stand for election as local councillors in the 2022 Local Government elections. It is open to those wishing to stand for their community and town council as well as those standing for their borough, city and county council.
Wales is the first nation in the United Kingdom to offer financial assistance to disabled candidates standing at this grassroots level of local democracy.
The Fund which is delivered by Disability Wales and is financed by the Welsh Government, offers financial assistance to disabled people towards the additional costs of reasonable adjustments to overcome the impairment related barriers they face when standing for election.
It pays for practical support to allow for disabled people to fully participate in the political process. This covers reasonable adjustments that level the playing field between disabled and non-disabled candidates, but not general campaign costs.
Rhian Davies, Chief Executive of Disability Wales said:
“Disability Wales is excited to be working in support of disabled people standing in the 2022 local government elections. Many Deaf or disabled candidates face additional expenditure when campaigning e.g. with transport, communication support or equipment. The Access to Elected Office Fund will help meet these costs and contribute to removing some of the barriers disabled people face when seeking elected office.
Moreover, the launch of the Fund in Wales marks a significant milestone in advancing disability equality in Wales both by widening rights to democratic participation as well as ensuring those who are elected to represent our communities also reflect the diversity of our communities”.
Disabled people interested in applying to the Fund should read the information on the Disability Wales website or email Disability Wales at email@example.com for further information.
After submission applications will be anonymised before consideration by a panel made up by individuals with lived experience of disability and making reasonable adjustments.
Notes for Editors
For further information and to arrange interviews with disabled councillors, Decision Panel Members andDisability Wales stadd please contact Philip.firstname.lastname@example.org