A Chance to do things differently- Disability Devolution 2024

We invited all 6 candidates to talk with us about our Disability Devolution Manifesto, which calls for transformational change to make life better for disabled people in the North East. 3 of the candidates met with us to take a deep dive into what they’ll do to improve systems, policies, and infrastructure so that it works for disabled people. Jamie Driscoll (Independent), Andrew Gray (Green) and Kim McGuinness (Labour).

What we asked them:

  • How will you work to ensure that the new combined authority is representative of disabled people in the region?
  • How will you lead by example with a North East Mayor’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy?
  • Will you commit to reporting on, and working to reduce the disability pay gap?
  • How will you make sure there are accessible and inclusive routes into education, skills, and employment for Disabled people in the North East?
  • How do you plan to embed accessibility in changes across the transport network, including wheelchair accessible taxis?  How will you make sure that we have a transport system that works for disabled people?
  • How will you make sure that climate resilience initiatives, including active travel and infrastructure decisions, don’t negatively impact on Disabled peoples ability to take part in climate action?

What they said:

You can read the PDF responses below. The images below contain the same text as the PDF documents. You can magnify the images if you want to read text on image.

Jamie Driscoll: North East Mayor Candidates- Jamie Driscoll

Andrew Gray: North East Mayor Candidates-Andrew Gray

Kim McGuinness: North East Mayor Candidates- Kim McGuinness

A slide with a summary of the conversation with the Labour candidate, Kim McGuinness


A slide with the summary of conversation with the Green candidate, Andrew Gray


A slide with a summary of the conversation with the Independent candidate, Jamie Driscoll.

What they pledged to do:


Jamie, Andrew, and Kim all signed our pledges which state:

  1. I/We will take practical steps to improve life for Disabled people in the North East.
  2. I/we will explicitly consider the impact on Disabled people of every policy and strategy decision to maximise positive and mitigate negative impacts.
  3. I/We will ensure a transport infrastructure that enables Disabled people to safely travel, including being able to access Active Travel initiatives.
  4. I/We will include Disabled people in decision-making processes and embed a social model approach to disability in policy and practice.
  5. I/We will work with partners to ensure Disabled people have access to accessible housing, well paid employment for those who can work, and inclusive education and skills programmes.
  6. I/We will improve access to green spaces, practically support sustainability with Disabled people and mitigate the financial impact of climate crises on low-income Disabled people.

We promise t work closely with the new North East Mayor to make sure we can work together to make the North East  a great place to live for Disabled people. Our members feed into this work and make it possible, relevant and hard-hitting. Join us here today: Join us: I want to fight for disability rights


This work is informed by the wider national campaign of the Disabled People’s Manifesto. Find out more here: Manifesto | DPO Forum Manifesto (disabledpeoplesmanifesto.com)

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