Response from Ann Macfarlane, OBE


1579 petition handed to Kingston Council

Many Councillors will not know that the Independent Living Scheme (direct payments) in Kingston did not just happen but was borne out of the sheer desperation of two disabled people.   Both were in very different situations but neither could carry on living life through the support provided by relatives, volunteers and the community nursing service.  Back in 1987 Jane Campbell, now a Baroness in the House of Lords, and Ann Macfarlane OBE, made the decision to take control of their lives.  In order to gain this control they sought a meeting with the then Director of Social Services, Angela Julia.  It was a wet day, we had to rely on a volunteer driver, and as we journeyed from Surbiton to the Guildhall in Kingston we were determined to get a positive result.  As is often the case for disabled people, if we request something, we usually get landed with a job and this meeting proved no exception.   We asked for cash for care.   At that time, Direct Payments were illegal and the only way we would receive Council money was through a third party organisation.  Angela Julia asked Jane and me to go away and write the policy document and to write our own care plans.   It took Jane and me six months to come up with the Policy.   On the night that Angela Julia presented it to Council, it went through without a single alteration.  Jane was present at the meeting to hear the positive outcome.

read in full here


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