Julie James, MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government
On 25th September I wrote to members setting out the key components of Phase two of our Diversity in Democracy programme.
This included confirmation of the establishment of a pilot Access to Elected Office Fund to support disabled candidates seeking election for both the 2022 local government and the 2021 Senedd elections.
At that time I confirmed I had asked Disability Wales to work with us in developing the details of the arrangement and to take forward the support, assessment and allocation processes as part of the pilot arrangements.
Today a 10 week consultation will commence which seeks views on specific issues to inform the final arrangements and I expect candidates to be able to access the application process in early February 2021. These issues include:
- the criteria to be used for accessing the fund
- whether there should be limitations on the level of funding each applicant is able to receive from the fund
- whether Disability Wales should provide a financial support service for applicants
- whether the fund should be named the Access to Elected Office Fund or whether there are alternative suggestions.
In addition to the online consultation, Disability Wales have agreed to undertake a number of engagement events during the consultation period. Disability Wales have existing networks and access to a range of stakeholders to be able to facilitate targeted and meaningful engagement on these matters. Feedback from these events will be considered alongside the results of the online consultation.
Individuals who would wish to participate in one of Disability Wales’ events should email firstname.lastname@example.org
The consultation can be accessed via https://gov.wales/access-elected-office-fund
I would ask members to share this link widely and to encourage people to respond to the consultation.
I will write to members again once the consultation is concluded.