Disabled candidates grant scheme to return for 2019 local electionsRuth Mabhiza
Relaunch welcomed, but there are calls for expansion to help address under-representation.
Count volunteers wait to sort ballot paper in local council elections. Photograph: Victoria Jones/PA
People with disabilities are to be offered thousands of pounds to help them run for elected office in next year’s council elections as part of an effort to tackle under-representation in town halls.
Grants averaging £4,000 will be made available to some to cover costs of campaign expenses including specialist transport, screen reader software, sign language interpretation and braille transcription.
Only 10% of councillors have a disability, compared with about 20% of the UK population. The government is offering £250,000, which is expected to fund around 60 candidates. Almost 9,000 council seats will be contested in local elections in May.