May 16, 2012

Ballot box
The election of States Champion for Disabled People will take place by postal vote on Friday June 1st.  Nominations for the role closed on Tuesday at 5pm.
The States’ Champion listens to disabled islanders and speaks on their behalf in the Assembly.  It is an official States role, ratified by the Social Policy Group of the Policy Council.  To find out more about what the Champion does, click here.
The three candidates are (in alphabetical order):

Deputy John Gollop, proposed by Jennifer Smith and Karen Garnham
Deputy Lester Queripel, proposed by John Buchanan and Richard Cochrane
Deputy Arrun Wilkie, proposed by Debbie Aldous and Barry Brehaut.

Voting is open to all disabled islanders, their close family members, staff and volunteers of disability charities, and health and social care professionals.
The term “disabled islanders” refers to a wide range of people including people with restricted mobility, sight or hearing impairment, mental health conditions, learning or communication difficulties or long-term illness.
To apply for a postal vote, potential voters are asked to send their name and address to [safe_email]info@disabilityalliance.org.gg[/safe_email] or to call 07781 467316 or to register in person at the Health Information Exchange office in the foyer of the new block at the PEH.  All details are on the Guernsey Disability Alliance website (www.disabilityalliance.org.gg or google “Guernsey Disability Alliance”) and the GDA phone number is in the phonebook.
The election is being organised by the Guernsey Disability Alliance, at the request of States Disability Strategy Steering Group.  However, voting is open to everyone, not just people who are part of the GDA or one of its 34 member charities.
Shelaine Green, Chair of the GDA, said:

“Jane Stephens really proved the effectiveness of having a champion for disabled people in the last States.  She set up monthly surgeries where disabled islanders and the people who support them could raise their concerns, led a successful amendment to ensure increases in benefits were applied fairly and was a driving force behind the Disability and Inclusion Strategy that will come to the States for debate later this year.
“From meeting deputies at our Speed Hustings and our AGM, we know that there is widespread support for improving life for disabled people within the new States, but it is still important to have a specific champion as the focal point for change.  We are delighted that three deputies have stepped forward to be considered for the role and we look forward to reading their manifestos and questioning them at the hustings”.

The hustings will take place on Tuesday May 29th at 7pm at Les Cotils (note: revised date, was May 28th).  Each candidate will be interviewed separately by the audience.

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