Council’s concern over future of disabled living service in Stamford

British Red Cross Disability Living Centre. 'Photo: MSMP260214-013ow
British Red Cross Disability Living Centre. 'Photo: MSMP260214-013ow
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Updated: Councillors have asked for clarification on the future of a vital service for disabled and injured people.

Lincolnshire County Council has opted not to renew its contract with the British Red Cross Disabled Living Centre and Medical Loan Service in Ryhall Road, Stamford. The council will place all its wellbeing services across the county under one contract from April 1.

At Stamford Town Council’s meeting last night (Tuesday), Coun Harrish Bisnauthsing (Lib Dem) said he was concerned the loss of the contract would mean Stamford residents would not be able to access short-term wheelchair loans or other similar services and would have to go to Grantham instead.

He added: “It’s important that we should maintain a service here.”

Coun Maureen Jalili (non-aligned) said she had used the service before, adding: “A lot of people will be at risk of not being able to have appliances on temporary or long-term loans.”

Councillors resolved to write to the county council asking for clarification on the service. They voted to and express in the strongest terms their concerns about the potential impact on Stamford residents if it was not replaced.

British Red Cross senior service manager for independent living in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire, said today (Wednesday) that people in Stamford would still have access to some services.

She said: “While changes to Lincolnshire County Council’s services will mean the closure of the Disabled Living Centre on Ryhall Road in Stamford, we will continue to offer short-term loan of wheelchairs and other mobility equipment to local residents.

“From April 1 we will be offering a delivery service in Stamford, meaning that individuals can call us on 0845 054 7171 to arrange the delivery of a wheelchair or other mobility aids such as commodes directly to their home.

“Our Disabled Living Centre in Grantham will also remain open and we welcome visitors to view and try out equipment that might suit their needs and help them remain in their own homes.”

The issue of A-boards in Stamford town centre was also covered at the meeting. Several retailers told councillors they believed A-boards were necessary to advertise their businesses, and objected to a letter threatening legal action if A-boards were not removed.

Councillors spent about an hour debating what next to do. For a full report and reaction, pick up Friday’s Mercury and check back online.