Protest planned outside Solihull Council House amid campaign to save disabled charity - The Solihull Observer

Protest planned outside Solihull Council House amid campaign to save disabled charity

Solihull Editorial 20th Mar, 2019   0

CAMPAIGNERS will protest outside Solihull Council House in an attempt to prevent the loss of a charity which supports 1,700 disabled people.

Disabled charity DIAL received funding as part of the long-standing CASB contract with the council – which has now been awarded to Age UK instead.

It has lost all its council funding – about £114,000 – and is faced with the threat of collapse.

It was also served an eviction notice by the council to vacate its fully accessible premises in The Parade, Kingshurst, by April 1.

Charity chief executive Alice Singleton says the bid for DIAL to stay in its premises rent free beyond that date will be considered by cabinet member for adult social care and health Councillor Karen Grinsell at the full council meeting on April 9.

Council chiefs recently said the charity can make a ‘potential future contribution’ in the borough but the statement did not commit to helping prevent its demise.

The charity said: “Come and protest Solihull Council’s decision to cease funding our valuable service on March 31.

“Come to the Civic Suite, Solihull Council House, on Tuesday, April 9. Any time from 4.30pm onwards (car park is accessible and free from this time).

“The Full Council meeting will take place from 5.30pm. Stay and listen.”

Council officers including chief executive Nick Page were invited to attend the meeting and answer questions from service users – but they did not show up.

About 130 people – with all manner of disabilities – attended the public meeting to voice their concerns about the loss of DIAL and many were distressed service users who now also face an uncertain future.

A Solihull Council spokesperson said: “The Council will continue to work with these organisations, including DIAL, about the type of support the Council can offer voluntary and community organisations in the future.

“Despite DIAL being unsuccessful and the existing Community Advice Hubs now taking over responsibility for providing the services DIAL previously was contracted to undertake, the Council recognises the past, and potential future contribution DIAL can make to the borough’s community and voluntary sector, alongside many other organisations.

“Anyone who needs ongoing support can receive this from the new Community Advice Hubs from April 1 as part of the new arrangements.”

There are two advice hubs, one in Chelmsley Wood Library and the other in The Core.

Both are open Monday to Friday, between 10 and 4pm (early closing on Wednesday – 2pm Chelmsley Wood and 3pm The Core).

If people can’t get to the Hubs they can ring 0121 709 7590 or email: [email protected]


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