ARCHIVE: Executive summary for the Secretary of State Report on disability equality
This report was produced by the then Secretary of State for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). It examines the policy sector covered in the Public Service Agreement (PSA) on which Defra leads, and also on the broader work of the department.
The report looks at how Defra works with other government departments and with other public authorities. The work of Natural England, the Environment Agency, National Park Authorities, local authorities and many others are featured.
The report is divided into the key areas that have been identified as being the most relevant to disabled people. Each chapter outlines the policy area and the relevant bodies within it and gives an overview of existing data and activity. There are case studies and proposals for action.
There has been good progress in a number of areas, where it is evident that the needs of disabled people are put at the very heart of policy development and service delivery. For example, the natural environment is becoming increasingly accessible; and many disabled people are involved as volunteers in practical projects, as advisors and in decision-making forums.
Increasingly large sums of money are being invested in energy saving measures, and these are successfully targeted at specific groups, including those who are disabled. Disabled people are therefore able to contribute to reductions on carbon emissions and save money.
The particular needs of disabled customers who need to use large quantities of metered water are addressed through a cheaper tariff. There are also registration schemes which enable provision to be made for those disabled people who would be hard hit by disruption to their water supply.
Information about the environment is being communicated to the public, enabling them to make informed choices and take care of their health. Air quality alerts and noise pollution mapping will particularly benefit disabled people.
This report also sets out areas where Defra and the public authorities in the sector could do better. There are significant gaps in data which means that it is not always possible to know if the policies and services provided are bringing about improvements to the lives of disabled people. There is also scope for greater co-ordination of action with other government departments and public authorities.
A series of commitments are set out in the final chapter of this report. These commitments for co-ordinated activity by Defra with other government departments and other public authorities will ensure that the authorities in the sector work together more effectively. In this way we will be better able to bring about the ultimate goal of disability equality by 2025.
Page last modified: 1 December 2008
Page published: 1 December 2008