7 April 2015
One vote the Green Party did win on Thursday (2nd April) was the Learning Disability Alliance's (LDa) Citizens Jury .
Local Candidate, Marion Turner-Hawes, the Green Party's Parliamentary candidate for Wellingborough, presented their case in the face of stiff competition from Labour's Kate Green, the Shadow Minister for Disability, The Liberal Democrats front bench spokesperson in the Lords, Baroness Barker and UKIP's Disability Spokesperson, Star Etheridge, (the PPC for Wolverhampton). The Conservatives were invited but didn't attend.
The Alliance, made up of over 1000 people with learning disability and 500 national organisations, voted to endorse the Greens as the Party likely to best represent their interests at the General Election.
The Jury, made up of 7 people with learning disability and 4 family members, chose the Green Party after interviewing all 5 main parties at an event held in central London.
Marion Turner-Hawes, speaking later, was delighted that the Green Party did so well saying, 'The Green Party is all about community and each of us standing up together, I think people really liked that we have an alternative and compassionate vision for the future, one which does not involve any more cuts to benefits or Social Care and does include people with disabilities playing a vital role at the heart of our communities and being paid well for doing so.
She went on to add, 'disabled people have been treated appallingly by the Coalition Government and we are determined that under a Green Government, people with learning disabilities will have opportunities to have good homes, well paid jobs and good lives. We also want to see people and families leading in their lives and no longer putting up with abuse or the kind of horrendous neglect witnessed at Winterbourne View.
The Citizens Jury follows on from work the LDa did earlier on in the year when over 2000 members shared their views on how well the Coalition Government had performed since 2010. The Government scored just 2 out of 10, with one member commenting, 'this Government just does not care and doesn't have a clue about the lives of people with disability".
The Jury's verdict will used to guide the Million and more people with learning disabilities and their families, in how to vote in the coming Elections. After hearing the result, Marion, invited all people with disabilities to "VOTE GREEN on 7th May "and lets start building our communities and lives together with love and respect".