disabilities | LocalGov

Proposed disability benefit reforms criticised


The Prime Minister’s proposed Personal Independence Payments (PIP) reforms will ‘heap more misery’ on people with disabilities, charity says.

Union criticises Government’s ‘shameful’ SEND support


Teachers and support staff are ‘losing faith’ in the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system due to inadequate resources, a union has warned.

Newcastle moves cycle barriers that blocked disabled access


Newcastle City Council has agreed to move a set of barriers after a disabled cyclist raised concerns that the design constituted indirect discrimination.

Spending on SEND school transport doubles to £1.4bn


The special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school transport system is threatening 'the financial viability of councils’, council leaders warn.

Bristol SEND services get £54m bailout


Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) services in Bristol are to receive a nearly £54m bailout, the Government has confirmed.

Thurrock bin crews trapped wheelchair user


Bin crews in Thurrock have repeatedly trapped a disabled woman in her home by not returning her bins to the proper place, ombudsman finds.

The joys of inclusive play


Nathalie Esfandi, co-founder of the Fair Play playground, discusses the important role local councils can play in creating inclusive play environments.

Children with SEND just ‘badly behaved’, councillors claim


Warwickshire CC has launched an investigation after a video revealed councillors making disparaging remarks about children with special educational needs.

MPs to debate free school meals extension


MPs are set to debate the extension of the free school meals scheme today as tens of thousands of eligible disabled children miss out on extra support.

Councils hit by improvement notices


Oldham MBC and Oxfordshire CC have received improvement notices for their services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Government falling 'woefully short' on supported housing


Vulnerable people are increasingly provided with poor quality supported housing and suffer ‘significant, detrimental’ impacts due to inadequate support, a report has found.

London faces ‘chronic’ street clutter issue


Central London has a ‘chronic’ issue with street clutter such as disused phone boxes and discarded e-bikes, a think tank has warned.

Councils ‘wasted’ £46m on SEND tribunals


Councils ‘wasted’ £46m on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) tribunals in 2021-22, economists have reported.

Charity calls for pavement parking crack down


A charity for the visually impaired has urged the Government to do more to crack down on pavement parking.

Newham to review hundreds of rejected freedom passes


Following an ombudsman investigation, the London Borough of Newham will review more than 200 applications for freedom passes it rejected.

Why we should be concerned with the SEN2 survey


Gareth Copeland, education consultant, OLM Systems, looks at the SEN2 survey and argues there is a disconnect with what really counts.

Government failing to protect disabled people


The UK and Welsh governments are failing to protect disabled people from discrimination and the situation is worsening due to the cost-of-living crisis.

DfT faces Court of Appeal challenge over kerb heights


A disability campaigner has won the right to take her case to the Court of Appeal in battle over the Department for Transport's minimum kerb height guidance.

Disabled people missing out on £24m every month


Delays to Personal Independent Payment (PIP) reviews have left disabled people missing out on an estimated £24m every month, according to Citizens Advice.

Housing Ombudsman orders Waverley to pay £13,000


Waverley Borough Council has been ordered to pay nearly £13,000 after delays meant a resident was forced to install disability adaptations themselves.

Pedestrian crossings lights could stay green longer


Active Travel England (ATE) is considering introducing new guidance for councils that could increase the amount of time people have to cross the road.

Inquiry on housing for people with disabilities launched


MPs have launched an inquiry into how far the planning system is helping to deliver homes that are suitable for disabled people.

Toolkit to help carers of disabled children launched


The Government has launched a new toolkit aimed at helping families access funds belonging to disabled young people.

Bristol council faces bankruptcy


Bristol City Council has been warned it must take urgent action to avoid bankruptcy over the spiralling cost of special educational needs and disabilities.

Care leaders warn social care system ‘run out of road’


Body representing social services directors has published ‘roadmap’ for fixing care and says there is a consensus on what needs to be done but a lack of will.

Safeguarding overhaul called for after ‘horrific’ child abuse case


Council leaders have called for more powers to hold partners to account after a review into the abuse of children with disabilities at Hesley Group of homes.

Council agrees to refund thousands in school transport costs


Leicestershire County Council has agreed to refund a mother’s school transport costs after Ombudsman found flaws in the way it handled her application.

Legal threat forces Devon CC to halt care cuts


Devon County Council will halt its plans to cut adult day and respite services after the mental health charity Mencap threatened to take legal action.

Counter-terrorism measures restrict blue badge parking, campaigners say


A policy of restricting access to York city centre for motorists with blue badges has been slammed as ‘disproportionate’ and a human rights breach.

Mencap threatens council with legal action over cuts


A learning disability charity has threatened to take legal action against Devon CC over the council's plans to ‘severely cut’ adult day and respite services.

Council welcomes £3.5m Morrisons fine after employee death


Morrisons has been fined £3.5m following successful prosecution by Tewkesbury BC after the death of an epileptic employee in one of the supermarket’s stores.

Autistic children face discrimination in care system


Marginalised families with autistic children face serious problems in the health, care, and education systems, according to new research.

Birmingham City Council to review respite care complaints process


Birmingham is to review the way it responds to complaints about respite care for children with disabilities after it told families to appeal to the Ombudsman.

New SEND plan fails on ‘fundamental’ issues, council chiefs say


New plan to support children with special educational needs and disabilities fails to address ‘fundamental cost and demand issues’, council chiefs say.

Charity calls for Newcastle e-scooter trial to be ‘closed down’


A trial of an e-scooter rental scheme in Newcastle has come under fire for risking the ‘safety and accessibility’ of disabled pedestrians.

Surrey council agrees to review SEND support


Surrey CC has agreed to review its SEND support for children and young people following an investigation by the local government and social care ombudsman.

Charity calls for ban on pavement parking to improve accessibility


People with disabilities struggle to move around their communities due to ‘inadequate infrastructure’, a sustainable transport charity has found.

Building inclusive schools


School sector lead at ADP Architecture Claire Mantle looks at the role of architecture in making schools more inclusive and accessible.

SEND pupils ‘unfairly excluded’, charity says


Pupils with additional needs have said they are unfairly excluded from mainstream schools because of racism and a lack of understanding from professionals.

Croydon council criticised for failing to provide respite care


Croydon council has been criticised for failing to provide respite care for the mother of a disabled teenager because it would cost too much.

Council fined £30,000 after disabled man left in unsuitable accommodation


Birmingham council has apologised after a disabled man was left in unsuitable temporary accommodation for eight years.

Council delay leaves disabled woman stuck downstairs


A delay by Slough Borough Council in a decision about a stairlift forced a disabled woman to sleep, eat and wash downstairs, investigation reveals.

Delayed EHC Plan highlights recruitment crisis


North Yorkshire County Council’s struggle to recruit an educational psychologist highlights a wider problem faced by councils across the UK, Ombudsman says.

Providers specialising in autism care warn of contract hand back


Providers of adult social care have called for more support to be given to providers who look after individuals with a learning disability and autistic people.

Council leaves visually impaired woman without support


Leicestershire CC has agreed to improve how it prepares social care and support plans after a visually impaired woman was left without support for two years.

Six million people on disability benefits to receive £150


Six million people who are paid certain disability benefits will begin to receive a one-off payment of £150 from today to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

Disabilities charity calls for ‘immediate increase’ in benefits


A charity has called for an ‘immediate increase’ in disability benefits and for more assistance with energy costs to help families with disabled children.

Council's disability support policy over a decade late


A council in Lancashire was more than a decade late in introducing a policy outlining how it supports disabled people to use its services, Ombudsman finds.

Councils receive £7.6m to help people with autism into work


Twenty-four councils are set to receive £7.6m over the next three years to help over 2,000 adults with learning disabilities and autism move into work.

Lambeth Council to make controversial LTN permanent


Lambeth Council is proposing to make one of its Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTN) permanent and to introduce a number of improvements.

Councils warned not to ‘forget’ about people with learning disabilities


Local authorities must ensure people with learning disabilities are supported through the cost of living crisis, charity says.

Disabled teenage siblings left without support for 18 months


Liverpool council has apologised after two teenage siblings with significant needs were not provided with the support they should have received for 18 months.

New homes to be more accessible for older and disabled people


The Government will raise the accessibility standard for new homes following a consultation on the proposals.

Council forced into U-Turn over care package


Stockport Council has been forced into a U-Turn over plans to reduce a disabled woman’s care package following a successful legal challenge.

Seven more Scottish councils make Adult Disability Payment available


The Adult Disability Payment is now available in seven more council areas in Scotland ahead of national roll out on 29 August.

Peers highlight lack of progress improving 'flawed' Act


Little progress has been made in addressing the lack of coordination between the licensing and planning systems, a House of Lords committee has reported.

Autistic Dorset boy left for two years without school


Dorset Council to reform the way it provides alternative education for children, after a boy with special educational needs missed out on two years of school.

Disabled benefit claimants forced to wait five months for first payment


Benefit claimants applying for disability support are waiting around five months on average to be awarded their first payment, financial experts have revealed.

Taxi drivers could be fined £1,000 for not supporting disabled passengers


Taxi and PHV drivers could face fines of up to £1,000 if they fail to offer an accessible service to disabled passengers taking a pre-booked vehicle.

Council apologises after failing to support autistic girl


Suffolk council apologized after an investigation revealed that the local authority had failed to provide therapy for a child with special educational needs.

Council chiefs call for ‘action’ to deal with spiralling SEND costs


The number of children in England in need of special needs support has increased dramatically over the past year, local authority leaders say.

Consultation for new SEND inspection framework launched


Ofsted and the CQC have today launched a consultation on a new draft framework for inspecting local provision for children and young people with SEND.

Disabled woman left without care for 12 months, Ombudsman finds


Worcestershire County Council has been criticised after it left a woman who had had a stroke without appropriate care for a year.

Council chiefs welcome £15bn cost of living package


Local authority leaders have welcomed the Chancellor’s multi-billion-pound announcement of cost of living payments but called for a ‘longer-term solution’.

Ombudsman reminds councils of Equality Act duties


It is important that disabled people are placed at the heart of local services, Ombudsman tells local authority leaders.

Council chiefs call for action against ‘scourge’ of pavement parking


Local authority leaders have called on the Government to give councils the freedom to ban pavement parking in their own areas.

Council apologises after vulnerable boy goes 14 months without education


Cambridgeshire County Council has apologised after a vulnerable boy was left without education for over a year.

One in four disabled people struggle to pay for food


A quarter of working-age disabled people already struggle to pay for essentials like food and heating and will be hit by cost of living crisis, charity warns.

Government announces £2.5m mobility service


The Government today announced a new funding package to roll out a mobility service to help people unable to drive access alternative forms of transport.

Minister confirms over 500 new accessible toilets to be built


Funding announced in yesterday’s Spring Statement will help provide over 500 new Changing Places Toilets in England, ministerial disability champion confirms.

Councils urged to create inclusive child play spaces


Leading UK charities and industry bodies have called on local authorities across the country to create accessible and inclusive child play spaces.

Families spend £14.6bn replacing missing disability support


One third of families with disabled children have been forced into debt funding their children’s education, a new survey has revealed.

Council apologises for SEND failures


Suffolk CC has apologized to families who rely on special educational needs (SEND) provision after a report found the council was 'not performing well.’

Disabled people 'failed' by key policy areas, think tank warns


The pandemic has deepened inequalities in health, income and employment for disabled people, a think tank has warned today.

Council to review alternative education policy after investigation


Manchester children who were out of education before the first national lockdown are to have their cases reviewed following an investigation of the council.

Changing Places toilet fund opens for bids


Councils in England are being urged to apply for a share of £30m to install Changing Places toilets in public places and tourist attractions.

Government launches £1.6bn disability strategy


The Government has launched a new strategy aimed at delivering accessible housing, easier commuting and better job prospects for people living with disabilities.

Local councils need more help to support disabled residents


Martin Usher explains why local councils need greater financial and care support disabled people in their communities.

MPs warn care of people with learning disabilities is 'totally inadequate'


Autistic people and those with learning disabilities are still experiencing 'unnecessary and intolerable' treatment at inpatient facilities, MPs have warned today.

Government announces £2.4m to support charities during pandemic


The Government has announced £2.4m of funding for thirteen charities that help autistic people, disabled people and those with a learning disability.

Councils to receive £30m to boost provision of Changing Places toilets


Councils in England will be able to bid for a share of £30m to install Changing Places toilets in existing buildings under new Government funding.

Disabled people accounted for six in 10 deaths from COVID-19 last year


Figures have shown that six out of 10 people who died from COVID-19 last year were disabled.

Improving digital services for citizens with learning disabilities


Stephan Liebrecht reviews how successfully the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham implemented a new app-based tool to increase the independence of people with learning disabilities.

Multi-million funding boost to Disabled Facilities Grant


Councils will be given an extra £68m to help thousands of disabled people make adaptations to their homes.

Peers call for public service reform to improve resilience


Peers have warned that ‘fundamental weaknesses’ in public services must be addressed in order to withstand future crises.

People with learning disabilities six times more likely to die from COVID-19


People with a learning disability were up to six times more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first wave of the pandemic than the general population, a report has found.

Council apologises for leaving disabled dad in ‘mouse-infested’ house


A London council has apologised after leaving a disabled dad and his family in mouldy, mouse-infested temporary accommodation for three years.

Changing Places toilets to be installed in every new public building


Toilets for severely disabled people will be mandatory in all new public buildings from next year, the Government has confirmed.

Funding to help discharge people with learning disabilities from hospital


Councils have been awarded £62m to help accelerate the discharge of people with learning disabilities and/or autism from mental health hospitals.

Disabled women ‘disproportionately hit’ by lockdown


The lockdown has hit disabled women particularly hard with many fearing missing out on medicine and struggling to get access to food, a new study has revealed.

Carers of MS sufferers provide ‘35 hours or more’ of unpaid care a week


Family members and friends who are providing unpaid care to loved ones with multiple sclerosis are ‘not getting the support they need’, according to new research.

Tackling grant complaints


Paul Smith outlines five ways that a local authority can reduce the number of complaints it receives about disabled facilities grants.

Over 12,000 Blue Badges granted to people with ‘hidden disabilities’


Thousands of people with hidden disabilities have benefitted from the Government’s extended Blue Badge scheme, new figures reveal.

Council broke its own blue badge assessment policy, Ombudsman finds


Sheffield CC has agreed to review its process for dealing with blue badge applications after an investigation revealed it was breaking its own policy.

Special educational needs reforms ‘poorly implemented’, MPs say


A generation of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities is being failed by the Government’s SEND reforms, MPs warn.

DWP admits overestimating number of disabled people due benefit refunds


The Department for Work and Pensions has overestimated the number of sick and disabled people due benefit refunds.

Local councils aim to make communities 'seizure savvy'


A new partnership to help local councils raise awareness of how to help someone having an epileptic fit has been launched.

How to comply with the UK’s new public sector web accessibility laws


Ross Linnett, founder and CEO of Recite Me, looks at the UK’s new public sector web accessibility laws.

Cash-strapped councils struggling to support SEND children, auditors warn


Auditors have warned that councils are coming under growing financial pressure as the demand for supporting school pupils with the greatest needs rises.

Blue Badges offered to people with non-visible disabilities


The Government has today implemented the expanded Blue Badge scheme which will now include people who have non-visible disabilities.

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Banning urban pesticide use

RSPB and PAN are working on a letter from local councillors calling on the Government to introduce a national ban on urban pesticide use. Find out more below.
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