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by Louise Wilson
11 October 2023
Committee report is ‘dossier of failure’ on disabled children and young people

Pam Duncan-Glancy criticised the 'wait and see' approach of the government

Committee report is ‘dossier of failure’ on disabled children and young people

Labour MSP Pam Duncan-Glancy has criticised Holyrood’s children’s committee for not backing her bill on smoothing the transition into adulthood for disabled young people.

The Education, Children and Young People Committee’s report concluded that the bill was “unlikely to resolve the substantial issues” in the area.

MSPs said the current landscape was “complex, cluttered and difficult to navigate” and the members’ bill lodged by Duncan-Glancy risked complicating it further.

But the Labour MSP said the report served as “a dossier of failure” on improving the lives of disabled children and young people.

She added: “We have long been promised action on transitions but we still have no strategy from the government and no support for councils grappling with strangled budgets – and disabled people and their families are the casualty.”

She accused the Scottish Government of taking a “wait and see” approach instead of taking action.

The Disabled, Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) Bill was lodged last year, building on work done by former Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont in the previous session.

It would require the Scottish Government to create a strategy for improving opportunities for disabled children and young people, supported by a specific minister.

The bill would also instruct local authorities to put plans in place for every disabled child or young person in their area as they move to adulthood.

Committee convener Sue Webber said discussions during stage one of the bill had “shone a light” on various challenges and urged the government to “urgently act”.

The bill will next go to the full parliament for a debate on its general principles, but the committee said it was “not convinced” that MSPs should vote for it to continue its legislative journey.

Members from the four of Holyrood’s parties supported this conclusion. Martin Whitfield, who represented Labour on the committee during its consideration of the bill, dissented from it.

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