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Green candidate wants disabled voices to be heard

Green candidate for Jarrow David Herbert (centre) answers questions from the audience at the Mencap event
Green candidate for Jarrow David Herbert (centre) answers questions from the audience at the Mencap event

PEOPLE need to hear the voice of the disabled, but not everyone is listening, claims a would-be MP.

David Herbert, standing for the Green Party in at May’s election in Jarrow, attended a recent question-and-answer session organised by Mencap at South Shields Central Library.

Mr Herbert spoke out at the event, also attended by South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck and Gita Gordon, selected to represent the Lib Dems in the constituency.

He addressed the issue of the independent living fund being phased out by the summer, a move set to affect 18,000 disabled people across the country. Mr Herbert said: “The removal of this benefit will mean some people will have to go in to residential care as they won’t be able to live independently.

“It makes no sense. The benefit is £325 a week, while the cost of living in residential care is around £739. It’s economically mindboggling.”

“I thought the session was very good. It was well attended, and I don’t think many people realise the changes disabled people have to face. This is the first they’ve heard.

“We believe there are more cuts to come, so, yes, people do need to hear the voice of the disabled, but not all parties are listening.”