UK Cash Network – Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have (1) to designate the United Kingdom’s cash network as Critical National Infrastructure, and (2) to introduce a Universal Service Obligation for the provision of cash. My Lords, does my noble friend agree that, whether for the financial inclusion of individuals or the overall resilience of the …

COP 26: Disabled Access – Question

Chris tabled an oral question – “to ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to undertake an inquiry into the reasons why the COP26 summit venue did not provide equal access for people with disabilities; and what steps they are taking to ensure that similar events in future are accessible to all.” In his …

Inclusive by design: lacking at COP26

Despite being the nation that gave birth to the Paralympic Games in 1948 and staging one of the greatest shows on earth, not least in terms of inclusion, in 2012, COP26, unfortunately, failed the inclusive by design test earlier this week. Entirely avoidable There are many things which can be said about the incident, overwhelmingly …

Social Value in Government Procurement

Government procurement teams are responsible for managing billions of pounds of public expenditure, in fact, every year £300 billion is spent on contracts for public services. What is value? Thinking about how the Government gets ‘value for money’ out of this procurement spending is an important exercise. Value has previously perhaps been too narrowly defined …

Rural Poverty – Question

My Lords, what are the Government planning to do to increase the extent and pace of the rollout of broadband and 5G to rural areas, and in terms of its reliability and capacity once the service is in? Does my noble friend agree that connectivity is critical for rural areas’ economic, social, psychological and community …

Paralympic Games 1988:

A Coming of Age Games On this day, in 1988 I was racing at the Paralympic Games in Seoul.  A good Games made great by being held in the same city as the Olympic Games for the first time in 24 years. Although big respect, to Tokyo, in 1964 for being the first city ever …

My first Paralympic Games – Seoul 1988

Thirty three years ago today I boarded a plane to my first Paralympic Games in Seoul. Aged sixteen and with limited experience of foreign travel let alone experience of competition at that level. I had no idea how extraordinary the experience would be, what the Games would feel like and what it would be like …

Cash must be protected

It was my pleasure to take part in this evening’s ‘In Touch’ programme on BBC Radio 4 (5th October 2021) about access to cash. I have long been campaigning on cash, the need for it to continue, to be accessible, available and inclusive.  This was the subject of this evening’s show, obviously focussing specifically on …

Public Appointments Disability Data Disaster

In 2018 I conducted an independent review for the Government exploring how to open up public appointments to disabled people. I made several practical recommendations covering data collection and transparency, methods of attracting and nurturing talent and best approaches and adjustments at application and interview stage. I was delighted that the government accepted the principle …