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We thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Cabinet Secretary’s letter of 19th March 2015.
We are pleased to note that Scottish Government remains in discussion with COSLA over this matter. Resolving the question of social care charges is a key issue in establishing a fair Scotland which respects the human rights of disabled people.
This has been a difficult problem for many years and one that has grown worse in recent years. We are not surprised that it will take time to resolve. It is heartening to see that our concerns are being taken seriously and are being discussed.
We are do not believe that the Cabinet Secretary has answered the question that was put to her. At the meeting on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 Jackson Carlow said:
"It was all a bit equivocal at the end of the evidence that we heard last time. I think that we want to get a much more specific idea of the timetable that the cabinet secretary is working towards. It would be useful.
“I welcome the approach that was being articulated, but nonetheless there is an urgency and a desire on the part of the committee to move this forward. The next step would be, after reflecting on the evidence given, to ask when the cabinet secretary expects things to coalesce into something a little more definitive."
It would appear that there is nothing more definitive that she can say nor is there the sense of urgency the committee was looking for.
Our March newsletter has just been published and is being sent out to regular subscribers. If you would like to get your own copy by email then please let us know.
Our first article is a Conference Report from our Life's Getting Harder, Let's Make It Better conference that took place in Glasgow. This was a major piece of work designed and organised by people with learning disabilities and we hope you enjoy the energy and enthusiasm we have tried to capture on the video excerpts. Read the article here
Our second article in on the petition for new national guidance on the use of restraint and seclusion in schools. This will be heard by the Petitions Committee on Tuesday 17th of March. Read the article here
Finally we report on the dropping of the 20 bed Care Home proposal by Glasgow City Council. We think it is important to let everyone know that this is now not going ahead. However we conclude that there is a concern that it still remains too easy for people with learning disabilities to be placed in care homes for older people. We are working on some research into this matter and will feature it in a future newsletter. Read the article here
You can also download an Audio version of the newsletter here. And please remember all our articles on this website can be read aloud by simply highlighting the text and clicking on it.
The conference was a great success with everyone both pointing out the problems they faced and talking about solutions. More outcomes from the conference will appear on this website over the next few weeks. So check back often.
Jamie Hepburn MSP, the Minister responsible for improving services and support for people with learning disabilities came to the Life Is Getting Harder, Lets Make It Better conference on Monday 2nd March 2015. This is a video of his speech.
The Minister makes a reference to the Charter For Involvement. You can find out more information about this here - http://arcuk.org.uk/scotland/charter-for-involvement/