A funding crisis has this week left the future of the Disabled
People’s Parliament hanging in the balance.
The British Council of Disabled People, which runs the forum, said
the parliament was “on hold” until new funding was found. It has
applied for a £150,000 grant from the Community Fund to pay
for its running over the next three years.
However, the BCODP failed in a similar bid to the Community Fund
last year and, if unsuccessful again, would be forced to have a
“rethink” and look for alternative funding, finance officer Sheila
The parliament was heralded as a major breakthrough for disabled
people’s rights when it held its first – and, so far, only –
parliamentary session last October, following grants of
£119,000 from the European Year of Disabled People and Comic
However, it only managed to attract 70 members instead of the 180
it hoped for and the money was quickly used up on developing the
concept and finding a venue.
Blair said the original bid to the Community Fund had asked for the
funding of all members, but the new bid had been slimmed
If successful in its bid, BCODP plans to hold more parliament
elections in the summer and have a cabinet in place in time for its
next full meeting in October.