I have the various election communications from all parties except Conservative and I really think that is because they know they are wasting their time in this area.
I was interested to see if any of the candidates had anything to say about disability and it was no surprise to see that they didn’t!
So I felt I should email them and let them know how I feel, I know it will probably fall on deaf ears but I needed to at least try. I also decided to send one email including all of the candidates rather than a separate email to each person.
And so I emailed
Ian Gilbert – Labour
Peter Gwizdala – Lib Dem
Paul Van Looy – Independent
Simon Cross – Green
Roger Weaver – UKIP
Floyd Waterworth – UKIP
I also included James Duddridge – Consevative
but left out James Cottis – Conservative because I already know his views on the matter and despite representing Rochford and Southend East, he has decided to focus on Rochford.
I am a resident in St Luke’s Ward and I live in ##### Road, we moved here a few years ago after losing the previous property that we rented.
I voted Conservative at the last general election and that vote has haunted me ever since, James Duddridge and James Cottis came to our house and offered to help our housing problem, I fell
for that and never saw or heard from them again, Mr Cottis recently on twitter tweeted in response
I haven’t included Mr Cottis in the email, after all he doesn’t care about Southend East
Despite my upbringing and my status in society I had always voted Conservative until that point, I lived in Wakering and worked over the MOD and Cllr Pearson was someone I knew growing up. Our local park at Seaview drive was closed for years after a wall fell down and so when I was about 17 I went in and cleared it up and made it safe but it was later closed again. Cllr Pearson invited me to a council meeting and I spoke about the park and how the youngsters needed it and it worked, the park was opened and sorted out and this was why I started voting conservative, they helped me and I trusted Cllr Pearson.
I have been eagerly awaiting the election leaflets, I wanted to know if any of our local candidates cared about the disabled community and unfortunately at this point it seems as if its not a priority to any of you! I haven’t yet received the Conservatives leaflet but I think its very obvious that it wont contain anything about helping disabled people who rely on welfare.
I have looked through the manifestos of the parties that you represent and Labour seem to be the only ones to mention disability in a positive way, although its a shame it didn’t strongly condemn the way we have been treated by the Conservatives.
I am disabled, a wheelchair user and in chronic pain 24/7. on a good day I can manage about 30 minutes maximum of tasks before the pain builds and fatigue sets in, the honest truth and its not being dramatic is that if i didn’t have a wife, two daughters and a grandson, I would overdose on my meds. this is partly because of the pain and disability but its also because of the way disabled people are made to feel nowadays!
I have failed a work capability assessment twice, I knew I might fall short on points because the assessment is unfair but when it came back as zero points, well i literally felt like I had been punched in the face! our money was dropped and for a good few months we struggled but it was then overturned just by the fact I’m prescribed morphine for the pain and yet I had told the person that when I had the assessment. I have been verbally abused when I have been out to the shops and many people have the attitude of “my taxes pay for you”, we are seen as lazy, scroungers and living a lavish life on welfare. My wife takes care of everything financial because the stress of trying to survive makes me unable to handle the pain and pain does increase when you are stressed.
I need an accessible property, we had to move because our previous rent in Rochford was £995, we were having to top up the rent using my DLA. Finding an accessible property that accepts housing benefit is almost impossible, then the deposits and the fact we don’t have a guarantor. my wife did find us somewhere and the rent is about £100 (ish) lower, housing benefit caps are grossly unfair and then we had the nice surprise of now having to pay part of the council tax!
It feels like I am persecuted just because I’m disabled, I did manage to return to work for a period of time but its no longer possible and I wish it was, I miss working so much, I miss being productive and I miss the social interaction that being in employment brings. I don’t choose this lifestyle and the same goes for millions of others and yet the media portrays us in such a bad way and people believe it and this then means that I am scared to go out.
What party truly cares about the disabled community? I think its not mentioned on your leaflets because of the negative view people have about disabled people, choosing to stand up and say “we care about the disabled community” would mean losing votes.
I had a choice of voting for someone who I truly believe in, regardless of whether they can win or voting Labour because they are the only people that can stop the Conservatives.
I hope you understand why I have sent such a long email, I really don’t know if you will read it and if you truly care but i had to try and at least make an effort to be heard.
So a reply from one UKIP candidate
Our disability spokeslady is herself disabled and is featured in our manifesto, available online at ukip.org
With best wishes
Wow that answered my questions and was so personal, that’s how you don’t reply to someone!