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Transport to be cut for Havering disabled sports club members

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 February 2016 | UPDATED: 08:56 16 February 2016

Cllr Wendy Brice-Thompson

Cllr Wendy Brice-Thompson

Archant

Members of a disabled sports group relying on community transport will have to make their own way to the club when funding is cut.

About 10 members of Havering Disabled Sports Association will be affected when Havering Council pulls the £7,000 grant in April.

Chairman Dave Wiltshire said the move was “out of order” and denied claims by the council the club said members could find other forms of transport.

“We use that money to hire Havering Community Transport but we won’t be able to, that will cease at the end of March,” he said.

“We’re hoping to see a couple of councillors about it because otherwise they won’t be able to get here.”

The association’s social nights are being held at myplace, Dagnam Park Drive, Harold Hill while its home, the Broxhill Centre, Harold Hill, is being renovated. The popular archery sessions are being held at Bretons in Rainham.

Alan Pearson drove members of the club for five years and said for some the club is their only social activity.

He said: “It’s disgraceful. Three of the members are in wheelchairs, I don’t know what they are going to do. They depend on us.

“The budget isn’t a lot, with the amount of money the council pay out it’s ridiculous.”

Alan said there were a number of other charities locked in discussions with the council over funding cuts, while Havering Community Transport, itself a charity, could also face closure as a result.

Cllr Wendy Brice-Thompson, cabinet member for adult social Services, said she understood it may present a challenge to users but the council had “reluctantly concluded” the funding was not value for money.

She said: “As they have advised us, the service is not used at full capacity, with only around five to seven users for a 15-seat minibus. They also pay a third party for a minibus service on Friday evenings.

“The association has advised the council users of their service have access to alternative forms of transport, including Dial A Ride. Some members also own cars and are willing to offer lifts, and others are able to use public transport. The association’s centre is on two bus routes.

“We would be more than happy to hear from Mr and Mrs Wiltshire or people who use their services to discuss further.”

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