SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has warmly welcomed the opening of a £200,000 fund aimed at encouraging more disabled people to participate in politics and stand as councillors in next year’s local council elections.
The fund – which will help cover additional costs for accessible transport and communications support – underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensuring equal opportunities for more people from under-represented groups.
Disabled people are significantly under-represented as local councillors – and the fund will back up wide-ranging support to help correct this imbalance.
Mr Beattie said:
“Everyone should have equal access to politics, no matter their own personal background or whether they are disabled or not. This funding will help ensure this is the case by alleviating some of the additional costs that disabled candidates can encounter.
“It is vital that barriers are broken down to encourage people from all areas of society to get involved in politics – which will help make policies more representative of society as a whole. The fund isn’t about giving anyone an advantage, but rather levelling the playing field and making it fairer for everyone.
“I hope people from across Midlothian and East Lothian access this funding which will help create equal access to politics for disabled people who wish to stand for selection or election in next year’s local government polls.”