Potters Bar MP slams autism 'Postcode lottery'

PUBLISHED: 19:14 23 February 2009 | UPDATED: 22:21 26 October 2009

Hertsmere MP James Clappison with Ann Griffin, Laurence Griffin and Peter Griffin

Hertsmere MP James Clappison with Ann Griffin, Laurence Griffin and Peter Griffin

HERTSMERE MP James Clappison has offered his support to a bill which aims to end the 'unacceptable postcode lottery' of autism services in the UK. Lobbyists from the Hertfordshire branch of the National Autistic Society (NAS) met MPs to ask for support fo

HERTSMERE MP James Clappison has offered his support to a bill which aims to end the "unacceptable postcode lottery" of autism services in the UK.

Lobbyists from the Hertfordshire branch of the National Autistic Society (NAS) met MPs to ask for support for the Autism Bill, which will be laid before Parliament on Friday.

The private members' bill seeks to improve local information on the number of people who have autism, and provide effective support for both adults and children living with the condition.

To have a chance of becoming law, the bill needs 100 MPs to vote in its favour and Mr Clappison is among those who have backed it.

Charles Walker, the MP for Cuffley and Northaw, is also supporting the bill.

Laurence Griffin, from the Hatfield-based branch, said of the meeting: "This was a great opportunity for people with autism to speak to our local MPs and tell them how important the bill is to thousands of people in their constituencies.

"The bill is a huge step forward in helping to end the unacceptable postcode lottery of autism services across the UK.

"Without the right help, autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect, so we will keep campaigning until we see real change at a local level."

Speaking to the Potters Bar Edition, Mr Clappison said: "As an individual MP, the bill has my support.

"Councils need to know how many people have autism in their areas."

He added: "It is important that we find out what the attitude of the Government is to the bill, because a private members' bill is far from guaranteed to go through."

Founded in 1962, the NAS is the UK's leading charity for people with autistic spectrum disorders and their families.

For more information go to www.autism.org.uk

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