A COUNTY Councillor wants to meet Welsh Government First Minister, Mark Drakeford, to discuss why legislation to help people with autism was rejected.

Last week the vote on the Autism Bill, sponsored by Welsh Conservative Leader Paul Davies, was lost by 28 votes to 24.

According to Mr Davies the bill would put the provision of autism services on a statutory footing.

This would ensure that local authorities and health boards take necessary action so that children and adults with autism get the support they need.

But the Welsh Government believes that moves to reform autism services voluntarily need to be given the chance of working before changing the law.

They are investing £13 million  to deliver an integrated autism service available throughout Wales.

Iain McIntosh, the Conservative County Councillor for Yscir near Brecon, has a form of autism and would like to see politics set aside for the bill.

Cllr McIntosh said: “As an individual with diagnosed high functioning Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism, I am very passionate about and fully aware of the benefits this bill would have brought to all people with autism in Wales.

“The bill would have given a clear pathway for people with autism so they can be diagnosed quicker, it would have also provided them with better support and for those who suffer with the most severe forms of autism, better help and assistance throughout their lives.

“Many people with autism are not always visible

“I wasn’t diagnosed until my mid-forties and although I’ve been sensitive to the stigma that some people with the condition feel, I’m keen to try and remove the taboo.

“Children and adults who suffer far more debilitating symptoms, affecting those who love and care for them would also benefit through better awareness, support and help,

“If the Autism Bill had gone through it would have helped pave the way towards raising awareness about autism, in all its forms.”

Cllr McIntosh believes that tribal politics should be set aside to help people with autism throughout Wales.

A Welsh Government spokesperson, said: “We share the aspirations of the Bill about the need to improve the services available for people with autism.

“We are working hard with the NHS and other partners and investing £13 million to deliver an integrated autism service available throughout Wales.

“We are also consulting on a statutory code to further improve access to care and standards for people with autism and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).

“We have been clear from the outset that there are other ways of achieving improvements than legislation, which has the potential to divert valuable resources away from support services people with autism and their families need.

“These reforms to autism services in Wales must be given the opportunity to prove their worth, or otherwise, before we move to legislate for change.”