Yesterday was the deadline for submitting motions for the next full council meeting of Liverpool City Council. This is a copy of the one I sent in, written jointly with Colin Eldridge, another Lib Dem Councillor in Liverpool.
Council notes the recognition given by the Government to British Sign Language.
Council notes that those deaf people who are deaf from birth may have BSL as their primary language. Council notes the existence of a deaf community in Liverpool as well as the existence of deaf organisations for which the use of BSL is crucial.
Council notes that although there is an increasing amount of subtitling on British TV (which is to be welcomed), there are few programmes that carry BSL interpretation. While subtitling meets the needs of some deaf or hard-of-hearing people, it does not meet the needs of all.
Council notes that in order to recognise the restricted benefit of TV to blind people, blind people receive a 50 per cent reduction in the price of a TV license (which covers the cost of both TV and radio). There is however no similar reduction for deaf people who, even if they are satisfied with subtitling, clearly cannot benefit from radio.
Council therefore supports the campaign for a reduction in TV license fees for deaf people and agrees to lobby the government, through relevant ministers, on this subject.
The new(ish) rules for Council mean that only a few of the motions sent in will actually be picked for debate on the night. The others will be referred to different parts of the Council. So this may well not be debated. The campaign for a reduction in TV license fees makes loads of sense though and I hope we can find other ways of pursuing this too.