Thurrock Council cut grant to award winning service to disabled residents by £100,00

A SOCIAL enterprise organisation has secured a 14-month extension to its contract to supply services to adults with learning disabilities.

Thurrock Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, introduced the proposal at Wednesday (13 January) evening’s meeting of the cabinet, explaining: “In a nutshell we are being asked to approve a 14-month extension on Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions’ existing contract, taking it up to the end of March 2017.

“In return we are proposing a £100,000 a year reduction in the price of the contract – or £116,678 over the 14 months.”

The contract was let in 2013 for three years to support adults with a learning disability to gain new skills, achieve their personal outcomes and reduce isolation as well as supporting carers to have a break.

Cllr Kent said: “I know Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions will find this reduction really tough. We haven’t entered into this lightly – it is a consequence of the huge funding cuts we – and all councils – are having to deal with.

“But, deal with them we must. Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions is aware of the situation and I am really grateful to them for accepting it.

“Thurrock Lifestyle Solutions has been a real success story for Thurrock; it is a user-led organisation for people with disabilities, an organisation that was transferred out of the council some time ago and has gone from strength to strength since.

“It gives us an example of what is possible.

“They have developed a number of innovative services – one, for example is that they held a consultation with users about the existing short-break scheme which led to their buying a camper van. This has allowed more people to take a short break at a lower cost rather than a traditional respite offer.

“Over the coming 14 months we will be in talks with TLS about moving everyone to personal budgets so they can exercise more choice and control.”

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