Thank you for your enquiry. I am very pleased to introduce myself as Scottish Co-ordinator for the ACT NOW for Autism campaign in Scotland. I am more than happy to get together for a chat about the campaign and what we can do up here. Are you in Edinburgh (where I am based) at any point soon?
I was at a CPG on Carers at parliament on Thursday 3rd February with MSP's and carers from across the country. Once again autism was high on the agenda after the recent defeat of the Autism Bill put forward by Hugh O'Donnell MSP. I brought up with the MSP's on the group the current DLA proposals and timetable for reform and was categorically told this is a matter for the 59 Scottish MP's. I was quite taken aback, they are our voice too are they not? I also felt there was too much denial about the impact the current cuts at local authority level are going to have. One MSP told me that "councils will be hard pushed to get away with" the cuts I discussed - it is happening now.
The postcode lottery in Scotland right now is leaving some families in dire straits; there is little or no consistency and councils are openly flouting the ASL legislation. The few who adopted the GIRFEC principle seem unable to implement the concept fully. We have seen a lot put down on paper; like the Carers Strategy 2010, ASL in Education Act amendment, Single Outcome Agreements, Care Partnerships etc. but in reality things are not changing on the ground and one could suggest are in fact getting much worse. Many people I speak to are living in real fear of what is to come, I am sure this is true of many of your constituents too.
ACT NOW is steadily gathering support and today Cathy Jamison pledged her support for the campaign, I am hoping to meet with her soon also. You can contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or continue to make contact via the main ACT NOW email address and they will forward it onto me. I look forward to hearing from you.