Independent living bill falls again


The latest attempt to introduce legislation that would guarantee disabled people a legal right to independent living has again ended in failure.

Labour MP Roger Berry one of the leading disability rights campaigners in the Commons, had introduced a private members’ bill following its successful progress through the Lords under the stewardship of Lord [Jack] Ashley.

But Berry was not successful in last year’s MPs’ ballot and so could not secure time for the disabled persons (independent living) bill to be debated in the Commons, and he was forced to withdraw it.

He said he would attempt to introduce the bill again after the next ballot later this year, at the start of the new parliamentary session, although a private members’ bill is never likely to become law without government support.

But Berry said it was also vital to continue campaigning on independent living issues through the consultation on the government’s care and support green paper, which ends on 13 November.

He said: “I think a lot of effort has got to go into trying to address some of the issues that are in the bill.

“We have got to concentrate on getting some firm responses into the green paper.

“It is a broad-based consultation on social care that enables any organisation to come forward with any issues on independent living that they wish.”

26 October 2009