A CHARITY representing disabled residents across the county suggested it is being prevented from sharing important new initiatives for the needy peddled by a top politician since he blocked them online.

Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS) wrote Buckinghamshire Council’s new ‘Helping Hand’ winter food voucher scheme is “exactly the sort” it would like to publicise, had council leader Cllr Martin Tett not prevented them from reading his Twitter feed.

Bucks Free Press: Cllr Tett was criticised in early November for his mystifying move, with a charity spokesperson saying it was “wholly disproportionate and a bit anti-democratic”.

READ MORE: 'Appalling': Council leader slammed for blocking charity that represents thousands of disabled Bucks residents on Twitter

At the time, a spokesperson for Buckinghamshire Council said Cllr Tett’s Twitter account is a personal one, adding: “It is his decision as to whom he allows access.”

Then, when cabinet member for town centre regeneration Cllr Steve Bowles retweeted a post by Cllr Tett trumpeting the government-funded winter food voucher scheme, BuDS suggested the leader’s actions stopped it from also sharing the message.

Bucks Free Press: Although the scheme is run through schools targeting families with children eligible for free school meals, the council’s own website says it is for the “most vulnerable families” in the county.

It also states support from “voluntary and community sector” workers is being called upon to tackle “food or warmth” worries over the winter season.

Schools will contact parents to tell them how to activate £30 of digital food vouchers which can be split across various supermarkets, including Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Marks and Spencer Food.

READ MORE: Did Bucks Council leader retweet fake news about the coronavirus vaccine?

“This is an excellent initiative giving our most vulnerable families support to buy food over the Christmas holiday,” tweeted Cllr Bowles on December 10.

Bucks Free Press: “Exactly the sort of initiative that we’d like to publicise,” replied BuDS. “If Cllr Tett had not blocked Buckinghamshire’s biggest disability charity from reading his tweets, of course. Why does he have to hide from us?”

When another Twitter user accused BuDS of ‘criticising everything’ the leader says, BuDS hit back: “That isn’t accurate. We support a great many of the @BucksCouncil projects Cllr Tett tweeted about and said as much.

“We did criticise his attitude to COVID-19 public health issues, but he’s an elected public figure and needs to respond to reasonable criticism, not hide from it.”

BuDS is an independent, non-political charity that represents nearly 41,000 disabled people living in Buckinghamshire, speaking out on various issues that affect the community.

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