Over the past few months at Livability we have been in conversation with our residents and staff to find out about the issues which matter most to them ahead of the general election. As part of this process we organised two informal hustings at York House and Nash College.
Whether it has been small groups or rooms full of people, it has been a fantastic experience to see residents, staff, parents and carers inspired to share their views with future parliamentarians. There is nothing more powerful than when those who have been marginalised are empowered to speak out to those who have the power to bring change.
I was really pleased to see some prominent issues being raised at the hustings. For example, at our York House (Wakefield) hustings, the shortage of accessible housing was brought up along with the impact of inappropriate assessment process on disabled as they transition from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments.
The headline issues were brought to life by residents, staff and family members full of passion and energy as they shared first hand their experiences.
Our other hustings took place in Bromley and was organised in partnership with a local disabled people user led organisation called X by X. A major theme on the day was addressing the barriers to independent living which young people face after leaving college.
The students and staff fired off a range of questions including one student, called Craig, who has dissected each of the party’s manifestos in order to hold them to account on their commitments.
We also spoke to some of our residents personally about the issues which are prominent to them, for our Loud and Clear 10 day video campaign. You can view the videos and info from the campaign by clicking here.
The key to these conversations being useful will be to sustain ongoing dialogue with politicians in the future. To ensure that they are reminded of their commitments. That they remain connected with the people they serve. And that they consider the full ramifications of the policies they support.