Disabled locals should not have to travel to Hove to have disputes over their benefits heard, according to the MP for Eastbourne.
Stephen Lloyd’s office has represented locals in 27 such hearings in the last 12 months and the Liberal Democrat is adamant they should be spared the travel.
Since August 2013, the majority of disputed cases have been moved from their Eastbourne location in favour of being heard some 30 miles away in Hove.
And constituents have complained to Mr Lloyd that not only is travelling that distance an unnecessary inconvenience for disabled people but that the facilities at the tribunals do not always have adequate access for people with mobility problems.
Mr Lloyd has now launched a campaign to return the hearings to Eastbourne. He said, “For many disabled individuals, being asked to attend a tribunal for a decision is an intimidating matter at the best of times. I think it is unfair for people with disabilities to have to attend their tribunals in Hove when they could be done locally. We are a town of almost 100,000 and we should host tribunals, as we had done for many years in the past. Some local residents have really challenging impairments and to force them to travel to Hove is just plain wrong in my view.”
He has written to the Ministry of Justice and the chief executive of Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service, but says the response he left him dissatisfied.