Politics: Bill for disabled children adopted

Nathalie Thomas

The Every Disabled Child Matters coalition has persuaded Conservative MP Gary Streeter to take up its Disabled Children's Short Breaks Bill.

Streeter, who came fourth in the Private Member's Bill ballot at the end of November, has agreed to adopt the proposed legislation after it was originally tabled by Treasury minister Ed Balls earlier this year (Third Sector, 26 April).

Private Member's Bills need to be adopted by MPs high up the ballot if they are to have any chance of progressing. The Bill would place a duty on local authorities to offer short breaks for families who provide substantial care for disabled children. It will be debated in the House of Commons.

"We are thrilled Gary has chosen to back our Bill," said Steve Broach, campaign manager for the coalition. "If the Bill becomes law, it will transform the lives of some of the most disadvantaged in our society."

The coalition, which includes Mencap and Contact a Family, approached Streeter at a parliamentary reception last month.

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