Marvin Rees today announced plans to set up a Disabled People’s Commission to make Bristol a city in which disabled people can participate and contribute as full and equal citizens.

Labour’s mayoral candidate will task the commission to carry out an accessibility audit across the city’s transport network and look at other ways of improving the lives of Bristol’s 71,000 disabled residents, helping them to play a full part in the city’s life.

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He has already pledged to scrap charges for blue badge holders in Resident Parking Zones.

Marvin Rees said: “Even Iain Duncan Smith is aware the government’s punitive policies such as the Bedroom Tax and cuts to disability benefits have had a devastating impact, and also that disabled people are at least nine times worse off due to the overall austerity measures.

“I will do all I can to work with disabled people to shape policy and mitigate the impact of the government’s measures. I want to see an inclusive and accessible City where disability equality is a priority.”

Labour’s Easton candidate Ruth Pickersgill said: “Having managed a number of disabled people’s organisations in Bristol and Leicester, I know that when disabled people are involved in policy development, the outcomes are better, the services are what people want and often better value for money. I welcome Marvin’s pledge to make disability equality a priority again.”