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Contact pledges support to Lancashire families fighting short breaks cuts

Wednesday 6th March 2019

Contact is lending support to Lancashire families of disabled children campaigning against proposed cuts to specialist after-school and holiday clubs.

Parents carers in the borough are crowdfunding in a bid to launch legal action against Lancashire County Council's proposed cuts to the Lancashire Break Time service.

Karen Robinson, Manager of Contact in the North West, said: "We are really concerned that Lancashire County Council is proposing the closure of the Break Time service. The value of the service is clear - as well as being nothing short of a lifeline for many families in the borough, it also provides an opportunity for disabled children to enjoy time with their friends outside of the home, something that all children have a right to. We are urging councillors to think again.

"We support the bid by affected parents to challenge the proposal by judicial review. We would urge anyone who is able to contribute to their crowd fund, to enable them to start the legal process. But families shouldn't have to fight through the courts for help and support, that's why we are part of the Disabled Children's Partnership, a campaign group of 60 charities calling on the government to plug the gap in health and social care funding which is leading to councils making cuts to vital services for disabled children."

Nikki Kimber from Lytham St Annes, whose daughter Antonia, aged 16, uses the Break Time service, said: "If there are no groups, clubs, activities or places to go for our disabled children they will be even more excluded and isolated. Antonia has benefited hugely from the Lancashire Break Time clubs and activities. It is a joy to see her interacting with her peers at the special sports club in an environment where she isn't judged but is valued, encouraged and stretched. Whilst she is enjoying her time away from us we can recharge our batteries."

Lancashire County Council (LCC) is proposing to end the Lancashire Break Time (LBT) service from 1 September 2019. This proposal is part of a number of budget options currently being considered by Lancashire County Councillors. LCC is asking the public, staff and partner organisations to give their views by clicking this link www.lancashire.gov.uk/consultations.  

People can donate to the families legal fund here  https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/challenging-cuts-to-short-breaks/