for Scotland’s Disabled Children (fSDC) is today launching a campaign to secure an additional £11.3million spending on disabled children and young people.
Local authorities will receive this amount in the 2010-11 finance settlement from the Scottish Government and it represents the final third of a total £34million that was supposed to be spent on transforming services and support for disabled children and young people.
But, under the Concordat, the money was not ring-fenced, meaning local authorities could decide what to spend it on. Efforts by the coalition to track down what councils have spent the millions on received in 2008 and 2009 have proved fruitless. So now the coalition is seeking the help of families all over Scotland to persuade councils to commit to spending the final third of the Missing Millions on providing more, better and new services for disabled children and young people.
Speaking on behalf of for Scotland’s Disabled Children (fSDC), Alex Cole-Hamilton, Head of Policy at Aberlour, said:
“There’s £11.3million remaining from this £34million and for Scotland’s Disabled Children (fSDC) is determined to see it spent on disabled children and young people. This is the focus of the “We want our missing millions” campaign. The coalition has tried to establish what local authorities have spent the previous tranches of money on but neither they nor the Scottish Government can tell us. So now we are switching our focus to the final round of money. Local authorities would make a real difference to the lives of families with a disabled child by guaranteeing to spend their share of the £11.3million on transforming services and support for disabled children and young people in their area. Our coalition’s aim is to turn the good intentions of policy and decision makers into better lives for disabled children and young people. Securing an extra £11.3million of resources will help achieve that.”
Elaine Glyn, parent supporter of for Scotland’s Disabled Children (fSDC), added:
“This extra money could make such a difference to the lives of families like mine. My area, North Lanarkshire, will receive over £700,000 and while the council already does a great job supporting families, it could do so much more with this extra funding. We’re not asking for the world – just a little bit of support now and again so that we can be an ordinary family doing everyday things, like taking all my three children together to the park. It’s vital that families with disabled children get behind for Scotland’s Disabled Children’s campaign – and do so, quickly as budget decisions will be made in the next few months. By working together, we can persuade our local councils to spend their share of the missing millions on ensuring disabled children in Scotland enjoy better lives.”
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For more information, and to arrange interviews, contact Kate Higgins on 0131 659 2938 or 07925 296 926 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to the Editor:
1. for Scotland’s Disabled Children (fSDC) is a coalition of 50 disability and children’s organisations, set up in 2007 to secure rights and justice for disabled children and young people in Scotland. Members include Aberlour, Arran Parents Support Group, Barnardos Scotland, CHIP+, CCNUK Scotland, Contact a Family Scotland, Dyslexia Scotland, ENABLE, the Family Fund, National Autistic Society (NAS) Scotland, National Deaf Children’s Society, Parent Inclusion Network and Shared Care Scotland. The full list is available at www.fsdc.org.uk/aboutthecoalition
2. The coalition also has over 300 individual supporters, 432 fans on Facebook (www.facebook.com/forScotlandsDisabledChildren) and 45 followers on Twitter (www.twitter.com/fSDC). The campaign will use online and social networking tools to promote activity and reach supporters.
3. “We want our missing millions” campaign will be deployed locally, with coalition members and supporters lobbying their local authority. The campaign hopes to persuade local authorities to guarantee that they will spend their share of the £11.3million on transforming disabled children’s services. This can be to provide new services, more of an existing service to more families, or change how support is delivered. Campaigners will write to their local councillors and MSPs and send postcards. They are also being encouraged to attend surgeries, hold public meetings and lobby council budget setting meetings. There is an online petition to show the extent of support nationally. The full range of campaign actions and materials is available at www.fsdc.org.uk.
4. In 2008 the UK Treasury provided £340million to transform disabled children’s services in England under its Aiming High for Disabled Children strategy. The Scottish Government received £34m as Barnett Consequentials to be spent between 2008 and 2011. Under the Concordat, the money was not ringfenced for its original purpose but included as part of the local government finance settlement. Local authorities have received £11.3million each year. The final £11.3million has been allocated as part of the 2010-11 local government finance settlement and local authorities will be meeting in February and March to determine their budgets, both at council and service level.
5. Using the Scottish Government Finance Circulars 2008-2011, for Scotland’s Disabled Children (fSDC) has established each local authority’s share of the £11.3 million, using the formula developed to allocate SR07 Extra Funding which is the budget heading for previously ringfenced monies. Thus, North Lanarkshire receives a 6.2% share of SR07 monies, so 6.7% of the £11.3million is just over £700,000. A full list of each local authority’s share is available from Kate Higgins or at www.fsdc.org.uk