Special schools the focus at Yarmouth election debate
Anthony CarrollA manifesto to scrap special schools and improve buses in Norfolk was at the heart of a political debate in Great Yarmouth yesterday as disabled people grilled local politicians.Anthony Carroll
A manifesto to scrap special schools and improve buses in Norfolk was at the heart of a political debate in Great Yarmouth yesterday as disabled people grilled local politicians.
About 30 disabled people and relatives attended the launch of the Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People's(NCODP) seven point manifesto at the Kings Centre in Queen's Anne Road.
Attending the launch were Tony Wright MP for Yarmouth and the Conservative and Liberal candidates for the borough in the May 6 general election - Brandon Lewis and Simon Partridge - who all took part in a question and answer session.
The candidates were all asked if they would support the manifesto's pledges which NCODP hope will improve disabled people's lives and give them more equality.
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NCODP wants to ensure all disabled children get access to main stream education instead of going to special schools such as Caister's John Grant School, improve public transport access and routes, build accessible housing, and increase social care funding.
All three candidates said they supported the manifesto except the main stream education plan which they said any government would find hard to fund and that John Grant Special School was doing a good job in educating disabled children.
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Yesterday's debate was the first of six in the county organised by NCODP involving general election candidates which all take place between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Today a debate will be held in Queens Hall, Watton. On Tuesday a session will be held at the King's Lynn Nora project office in Wisbeach Road, on Wednesday the NCODP will be at the North Walsham Community Centre and on Thursday a debate will be held in Norwich's Forum. The final debate takes place at the Long Stratton Leisure Centre on Tuesday, May 4.