Disabled people make up a large number of the people who use the services councils provide and have very specific needs and rights – both as users and as planning partners. The role of the local authority is to create an enabling environment to support disabled people to participate in society and live independently, with control, freedom, choice, and dignity. This plan gives practical effect to these principles.
As part of the focus on human and democratic rights, this plan therefore also promotes the concept of coproduction. Being involved is not the same as being asked or consulted. It means people who use services as well as practitioners and policy makers working in partnership right from the start. It allows for the trading of skills, information and expertise and assists in achieving mutual objectives. In recognition of their role as ‘equal and expert partners’ this plan recognises that local authority policies which affect disabled people should be developed in co-production with disabled people and their organisations.
The plan sets out the contribution of local government to supporting the rights of disabled people in Scotland. It focuses on 30 actions which will be taken between 2015 and 2018/19. It has been written in consultation with representatives from a range of organisations outside of the local government family including Independent Living in Scotland, the Alliance, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living, Inclusion Scotland, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living, and the Scottish Government. It has also been endorsed by the Political Leadership of COSLA.
Cllr Peter Johnston – COSLA spokesperson for Health and Wellbeing said:
‘I am delighted that COSLA has worked with our key partners to develop a practical plan to ensure that the rights of disabled people are promoted and enhanced across the work of local government and I am delighted that it can be launched appropriately between celebrating and promoting Disability Day and Human Rights Day’
‘The UNCRPD Local Government Delivery Plan is a clear commitment by Local Government to deliver 30 specific actions to improve the lives of disabled people over the next three years. COSLA leaders have agreed and endorsed this plan and will receive an annual report on its implementation’.
Marco Biagi - Minister for Local Government and Community Empowerment said:
“We welcome COSLA’s plan for implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will complement the Scottish Government’s own disability action plan currently out for consultation.
“Equality and rights for disabled people are at the heart of the Scottish Government’s ambitions for a fairer Scotland. We will continue to work closely with COSLA and others to take forward a range of actions which will improve the lives of disabled people across Scotland”.
Dr Sally Witcher OBE– Chief Executive, Inclusion Scotland said:
“Local authorities have a pivotal role to play with regards to disabled people’s fulfilment of their human rights. Inclusion Scotland therefore welcomes COSLA’s recognition of the importance of human rights to disabled people and its commitment to taking action to promote their fulfilment.
Whilst we would support the declared intention of many of the proposals, we would take a different view on some – for example the future of social security benefits and the potential that exists to reduce people’s rights. A major concern for disabled people will be to ensure that the actions proposed further disabled people’s human rights and are not undermined by austerity. We therefore welcome the opportunity for dialogue with COSLA where there is genuine scope for positive developments towards that goal.”
Ian Welsh OBE – Chief Executive, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) said:
“Human rights not only protect people’s dignity but they offer us a robust framework to drive high quality health and social care, focused on the outcomes that matter to people themselves. We welcome the recognition made by COSLA of the important role this plays in disabled people’s lives and look forward to working alongside local government to support people to enjoy their right to live well.”