The Mayor of London’s Disability Capital Conference 2011 took place on Thursday 20 October in the Platinum Suite at London’s Excel Centre after a two year absence.
The Conference was reasonably well attended, and the hall was at it’s busiest during the speeches of Boris Johnson and Maria Miller, Minister for Disabled People. Many people submitted questions for the Mayor and Minister, but only a few of the less challenging questions were selected. Although this was disappointing, it was hardly surprising, which is probably why a few delegates shouted out their questions during the speeches.
Unfortunately the conference ran much like a PR event for the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and the Olympic Delivery Authority. There was little input from Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations, even less so than in previous Disability Capital conferences.
Transport for All were invited to speak during the transport session, after three speakers from TFL. Lianna spoke passionately about the issues and the cuts that are affecting disabled and older transport users in London, and her speech was met with much approval from the audience.
Transport for All would like to see more disabled people and our organsiations invited to be involved in setting the agenda and presenting at any future Disability Capital. While is is important for local government to keep us informed of their plans, it is also equally important that they listen to our views and responses.