Councillors should not be prevented from speaking because of their disabilities

York Green Party is shocked and appalled by the decision of the Council’s monitoring officer to try to prevent Councillors Katie Lomas and Ashley Mason from speaking at Full Council on the motion on disabled parking in York because they are disabled and Blue Badge Holders.

This is clearly discrimination against the two councillors on the basis of their disabilities.  We wish to offer our complete solidarity and support to them and will work to ensure that the monitoring officer changes her decision before the next council meeting to ensure that such discrimination never happens again. We strongly believe that people should not be excluded from public life, or any other area, because they are disabled, that it is totally appropriate to make reasonable adjustments, and that “Blue Badge Parking” is one such adjustment.

We are pleased that the Lord Mayor and chair of the standards committee were able to find a way round the monitoring officer’s ban for the evening; but this is not acceptable in the long term and the decision needs to be overturned immediately.

We are calling for an urgent inquiry by the a Scrutiny Task Group to review the code of conduct and its guidance in the light of the equalities legislation.

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