Focus on learning disabilities as ENABLE hosts hustings in Cumbernauld

A hustings meeting on Wednesday, April 6 will give voters with learning difficulties the chance to quiz candidates in the forthcoming Scottish elections.

With only 30 per cent voter turnout among adults with learning difficulties, ENABLE Scotland has organised meetings across Scotland.

The Cumbernauld event will take place at the Royal British Legion in South Muirhead Road tonight (Wednesday) from 6.30pm.

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The candidates to have confirmed their attendance are Mark Griffin of Labour, Scottish Conservative Eric Holford, the Green Party’s John Wilson, Paul McGarry from the Scottish Liberal Democrats and SNP candidate Jamie Hepburn.

People from across Central Scotland are expected to attend the hustings to meet the candidates and get their questions and issues heard.

Jan Savage, ENABLE Scotland’s Executive Director of Campaigns and External Affairs, said: “Traditionally the number of people who have a learning disability who vote is only around 30 per cent. Yet a survey by our sister organisation, Mencap showed 70 per cent intended to vote.

“Unfortunately the survey also found that 60 per cent of people who have learning disabilities found the process of voting too difficult.

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“This is why we’ve launched our #ENABLEtheVote campaign and produced resources for people who have learning disabilities and their families to help get people ready to vote.”

The resources include factsheets co-produced with the Electoral Commission, which explain the election and methods to vote, including instructions on voting at a polling station.

All the political parties involved in the event have been asked to produce easy-to-read versions of their manifestos to make the decision process easier for people with learning disabilities.

Ivan Cohen is the chairman of ENABLE Scotland’s national Advisory Committee. He said: “ENABLE Scotland has helped us understand why we should vote and how we should vote, but the parties need to tell us why we should vote for them.

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“We have a lot to say about issues such as welfare reform, and how that affects us. We are also worried about transport and jobs.

“We want to know what the parties are saying.”

The meetings are open to anyone with a learning disability, plus carers and other supporters.

To book a place, call ENABLE Scotland on 01698 737000 or email the campaigns team at [email protected]