Norman Lamb meets with members of disabled community to discuss their concerns
Some of north Norfolk’s most vulnerable members of society have gathered in Cromer to put their questions to their MP.
People with learning disabilities or mental health problems met at Merchant’s Place on March 9 to meet north Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, and discuss the biggest issues they faced.
Despite some difficult topics being raised, members of Opening Doors, who organised the event, as well as many other nearby organisations walked away smiling thanks to the support Mr Lamb showed them.
Questions began with questions about Mr Lamb’s career, before turning to government cuts.
On the subject of how budget cuts will affect individuals, as well as institutions such as Sidestrand Hall, Mr Lamb said: “I’ve just been to see Sidestrand Hall, it’s an incredible place.
“What worries me about the budget cuts is that personal budgets are being cut. I’m very worried that some of the more vulnerable people in society may lose out as a result of the financial situation this country is in.
“What doesn’t make sense to me is that cutting personal budgets means people can’t get out and into their communities, which may lead to more health issues for that person, which ultimately would cost the healthcare service more.”
Questions were also raised about what can be done to improve employability for people with learning disabilities or mental health issues.
Mr Lamb, 60, said: “We’ve got to change people’s attitudes in society and mental health and learning disabilities.
“I think there’s a stigma that people who struggle with mental health or learning disabilities can’t do things when actually they’re perfectly capable.
“We need more employers to give people opportunities so that they can live a full and happy life.”
Mr Lamb was also asked what his party, the Liberal Democrats, were doing for people with learning disabilities.
He continued: “What’s always been important to me is making sure people’s aren’t locked away in institutions.
“We find people locked away in large places and never get out or have the opportunity to work and be independent.”
Opening Doors is a user led organisation operating in Diss, Norwich and Cromer.
For more information, contact 01603 631433.