SCARBOROUGH’S MP Robert Goodwill met with local and regional representatives from Mencap to discuss the potential impact of Government cuts.
Mr Goodwill was invited to visit Scarborough and District Mencap’s centre in Valley Road and spent time speaking to staff and members about services.
General manager David Mennell and Mencap’s community development officer for North Yorkshire, Stephen John, were keen gain Mr Goodwill’s support by showing him how the centre helps people.
Mr John said: “We wanted to show Mr Goodwill just how important modern day services are for people with a learning disability.
“They provide a wonderful social aspect and valued respite for friends and family.”
Mr Mennell added: “We provide clubs in the evening and a lot of people’s social lives revolve around them. They are very much appreciated by everyone who uses them.”
The Government is facing a deficit in its learning disability budget of around £1.1 billion and nationwide funding cuts are expected.
It is not yet known how much funding will go from the Scarborough area and how services will be affected.
But Mr John and Mr Mennell both said they wanted to discuss the subject with Mr Goodwill before it was too late.
They also raised concerns with him about the Government’s decision to remove the mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people living in residential care homes.
This change will affect 58,000 disabled people, who use the benefit to access their community. Mencap believes that the government has misunderstood how this benefit is used – by removing it, people living in residential care will only have around £22.19 a week personal allowance.
Mr John explained: “People need that money to get out and about and be independent. For example, some may use money from their allowance to pay for a taxi so they can meet up with friends.
“We understand that cuts have to be made, but we also believe that those with the broadest shoulders should bear the burden.”
Speaking about the Scarborough centre, Mr Goodwill said: “The work that goes on here is fantastic. Not only does it give carers some respite, it really expands people’s horizons.”
He added: “Having seen the great work going on here, nobody would want to undermine that.”