HELLO THERE!

HELLO THERE!
WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.
--- HEDDWCH

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Monday, 30 May 2011

RADAR MPs Dialogue Scheme.

This is another action pressurising this unelected, undemocratic and sociopathic ConDem coalition. The details can be found at:http://www.radar.org.uk/radarwebsite/tabid/124/default.aspx

Essentially it is an encouragement for service users to talk directly to their MPs about disability issues, positive and negative, and feedback to RADAR as a central core processing the scheme. MPs attitudes and responses will be, in the least, ‘interesting!’

I’ve begun to try. These are my mails to and from RADAR so far:

Hello.

I'm interested in this scheme although my MP (Richard Bacon South Norfolk) is useless as far as disability is concerned - I should keep plugging away at him. He avoided meeting me at Methodist Central Hall on the Hardest Hit march.
 
Heddwch.

Mike.

Dear Mike,
 
Thank you for contacting us about Radar's MP Disability Dialogue. Please find attached an information pack that contains advice on how to organise and promote a meeting or an event with your MP. We have also attached a policy briefing which provides information on issues that currently affect disabled people, and a feedback form which we would like you to fill out and return to us after your event or meeting. From your email you sound like a seasoned campaigner so a lot of this information might not be particularly new to you, but I hope that some of it will still be helpful.

This information is also available in Easy Read, large print, braille, or on audio CD. Please let us know if you would like copies in any of these formats by replying to this email or by calling Cheryl on 0207 503 6176.

It would be really useful for us to know if you're organising an event or meeting with your MP, so if you decide to participate please drop us a line to let us know. We can also help promote your event on our website, Facebook page and through our e-newsletter. 
 
If we know that you would like to invite an MP to your event or have a meeting at their surgery, we can write to let them know about your interest. You will still have to get in touch with the MP yourself but our contact might help smooth the process. I do understand your frustration at not being able to access your MP, but I think you are right that 'plugging away at him' might be the answer. I was in the lobbying hall at Hardest Hit and there were definitely a number of people who didn't have MPs come and meet them so (unfortunately) you're not alone. All MPs were contacted about the MP Disability Dialogue so your MP should be aware of the scheme. You might be interested to know that Parliament is currently in recess until 7 June, so there is a good chance he will be in the constituency at the moment. If you would like us to get in touch with Mr Bacon on your behalf, then please let us know what sort of meeting or event you are planning to arrange.

Please contact us if there is anything we can help you with, and good luck!
 
Kind regards,
 
Cheryl Gowar
Policy and Parliamentary Intern
Royal Association for Disability Rights (Radar)

Hello Cheryl.

Thanks for the information. First thing I'd like to say is that your forms are not compatible with my Mac computer. Online completion is not possible for me and that's inequitable!

But the nitty gritty: I phoned the number set out on my MPs website for appointments to see him at his `surgery.` The response (from a rather frosty, haughty woman) was (notes taken verbatim): `I can't give you an appointment, I suggest you contact him in writing or by e mail. `I told her this was to do with the RADAR campaign for face to face meetings with MPs and that my experiences with Mr Bacon so far and her attitude sounded like avoidance to me. She denied there is any avoidance and she is `having to tell everyone the same.` She said she will put me on the (long) waiting list and will get back to me with an appointment.`

I see today, Mr Bacon is on your campaign list of MPs. Does this actually mean anything?  

Are you please able to advise me of the position with regard to the MP's Code of Practice? I have also been toying with the idea of making Freedom of Information request for the numbers extant on Mr Bacon's waiting list. What do you think?     

Heddwch

Mike.

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