Monday, 23 June 2014

Press Release: TYMES Trust Takes On Scottish Government


Action Against ‘Named Person’ Secures Support Of Prominent M.E. Charity

A charity which supports young people with ME and their families has pledged itself to take on the Scottish Government in a court action to fight against 'state snoopers.'

The Young ME Sufferers Trust (TYMES Trust), which is the longest established national UK service for children and young people with ME and their families, is backing the move in the Scottish courts.

The TYMES Trust believes that the drive to impose a state appointed Named Person, a 'state guardian' or 'state monitor’ by another name, on every family in Scotland is an oppressive, unwarranted and illegal intrusion into family life.

Jane Colby, Executive Director of the Trust, said:
"This must not go unchallenged. The Named Person will automatically be given details of appointments with the child's doctor, and countless other personal information. No parent can opt out of this system. If the family misses an appointment, or disagrees with their doctor's suggested treatment, the Named Person can and will be told."

Under the legislation, every child in Scotland under 18 - and there are more than a million - will be assigned a 'named person' (someone other than their parents) who will have the power to 'advise' and 'inform' the child or discuss or raise matters about the child with the relevant authorities.

A Judicial Review of the proposal, which is contained in the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act is being mounted.

Campaigners say the blanket nature of the named person provisions constitutes a disproportionate and unjustified interference with the right of an individual family to a private and family life.

The Tymes Trust has announced that it will endorse the campaign and in a statement said:
"In our experience, the average professional who is likely to take this role (as a named person) may fail to appreciate the severity and chronicity of ME, leading to the distrust of normal, innocent families.
"ME is incurable and depends on the body to heal naturally. We have so far advised 120 families who have come under suspicion of causing their children's ill health, many of whom have been investigated by social services, and none of whom have been found blameworthy.
"It is a continuing problem that can only be exacerbated by the statist intrusion of a named guardian into the family's method of caring best for their sick child."
"In 2010 the Trust was presented with the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service: the MBE for volunteer groups. It was given for pursuing the educational rights of children with ME and advancing their care. We see our role in this legal challenge as helping to prevent every parent of a sick child in Scotland seeing their natural role and rights usurped by an overweening state."

Lesley Scott, Tymes Trust Scotland Representative, said:
"The Named Person provision came from the GIRFEC trial - Getting It Right For Every Child. Far from getting it right, families in Highland tell me that GIRFEC's approach has led to a constant battle with schools and the local authority, who have not only failed to provide appropriate support, but disagreed with parents' views."

Campaigners are bidding to use European law to overrule Holyrood and stop these controversial plans to appoint a named person for every child in Scotland.

QC Aidan O’Neill will argue that MSPs are acting illegally and exceeding their powers by setting up the 'named person' scheme in direct contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The QC will put forward the case on behalf of the Christian Institute (CI) which is spearheading opposition to the flagship legislation which MSPs passed earlier this year. The CI has been joined in The legal challenge by the Christian charity CARE (Christian Action Research and Education), and the Family Education Trust with the support of academics and individual parents and now the TYMES Trust.

Christian Institute director Colin Hart welcomed the Tymes Trust decision, saying:
"We are delighted to have the support and backing of the Tymes Trust in this legal action which is so crucially important to families in Scotland. This new Holyrood law will give almost boundless powers to a state which is driven to control every aspect of people’s private lives despite the fact that Europe places family life above the interests of the state."

Background Information From TYMES Trust

The Young ME Sufferers Trust (Tymes Trust) is a practical charity that believes in taking action to make things better for children suffering with ME. We specialise in advising their families and we publish information guides for them and for professionals.

June 2014 is our 25th Anniversary. We are working to the theme FIGHTING INJUSTICE. We believe that the drive to impose a state appointed Named Person (a guardian by another name) onto every family in Scotland is an oppressive, unwarranted and illegal intrusion into family life. It must not go unchallenged.

Tymes Trust : www.tymestrust.org

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