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Labour-run Council refuses disabled woman to express concerns on care policies at meeting

the woman at Lambeth council reception

A disabled woman [pictured above] has been silenced by her local council for expressing her views over their “inhumane” and “unjust” changes in care policies.

The lady, who wishes to remain anonymous, asked Labour-run Lambeth Council if she could address its plans making changes in social care at the grassroots group Accessible Care in Lambeth.

But the council told her there was no time in their schedule to make a one-minute speech about the matter.

Fellow campaigner Margaret Ashemead had told the meeting how she believed the changes were “harmful and cruel” highlighting how the council had swiped benefits from disabled people “whose health and wellbeing are already at risk” to fund the changes to their care policies.

Ashemead cares for her 92-year-old mother and her adult disabled daughter; she made her voice heard to the group.

But just before the aforementioned woman was about to address the meeting she was ushered away by council officers.

The council had started charging her £8 a week to continue using a “lifeline” pendant to notify paramedics when she falls, which she does on a regular basis.

She was going to tell the group: “Ever since that pendant was taken, my safety is compromised.

“There have been nights where I’ve been stranded, lying cold on my bathroom floor, with distant family unable to rush to my aid.

“The sun rises, and only then does my carer arrive to help.”

The council also intends to charge her £100 a week, taken from benefits, “to set up a care package so I can get the support I so desperately need”.

She planned to say: “This, councillors, is not just a charge but a tax on my disability.

“I urge you to reconsider this decision, for it is not just inhumane but unjust.

“Every individual deserves dignity, safety, and the right to care. Let’s make sure Lambeth stands for that.”

Jon Abrams, from Inclusion London, tried to convince the council to let the woman speak at the meeting.

Abrams told Disability News Service :“Not only are they proposing to strip her of over £100 a week of her welfare benefits as a charge to pay for vital social care support but last night they also stripped her of her voice.”

He added: “While we appreciate the constraints of the deputation process, adequate time and consideration are crucial, especially when disabled people are part of a deputation.

“Extending the time by a few minutes would have been a reasonable adjustment, which councils usually strive to do.

“Having attended numerous council meetings across London, I was surprised and disheartened that Lambeth council did not make this effort.”

[ The woman has been invited to request another delegation at a future meeting ]

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