Suella urges rethink over proposed cuts to specialist services for deaf and disabled children

Fareham MP Suella Braverman is urging Hampshire County Council to rethink proposed cuts to services for disabled children across the county. The Fareham MP has pressed ministers in Westminster to assist the Council in finding additional resources.

Hampshire County Council is proposing changes to the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service (STAS) which teaches young disabled people to develop their skills, enabling them to live a more independent life with opportunities to access education and employment.

Several Hampshire residents, who are set to be directly affected by the proposed changes, argue that young vulnerable people will be put at an immediate disadvantage.

Fareham resident David Prince says his daughter Holly would be adversely affected by additional cuts to disabled children’s services. Holly is visually impaired and benefits from training provided by STAS allowing her to become more mobile and use a cane.

David Prince said:

“I’m personally horrified that Hampshire County Council are planning to cut services to disabled children in the whole of Hampshire. Disabled children are the absolute most vulnerable in society and should be given more care, not less. The care that disabled children get today from Hampshire County Council relates to their development and support, and thus to cut this will simply make their already incredibly hard lives even harder and will make them more dependent on the State in later life.”

MP for Fareham Suella Braverman has since joined calls from concerned residents urging for a rethink over changes to the service. In a letter to the council, Mrs Braverman outlined how reductions to the STAS provided by them could adversely affect disabled children locally. Hampshire County Council responded saying that a consultation process over the proposed changes was still ongoing.

Earlier in the week Suella Braverman MP pressed Nadim Zahawi, Minister of State for Children and Families, in the House of Commons about receiving greater assistance from central government which would enable the council to find the necessary resources in order for the services to continue in their current capacity.

Suella Braverman MP said:

“It is of course extremely concerning that the proposed changes could adversely impact the lives of many disabled children in Hampshire and Fareham. The Specialist Teacher Advisory Service is a life changing service that can teach people like Holly how to use a cane, improve their mobility and live the most independent life as possible.

“I will help ensure that vulnerable children do not have to go without a rich education, which is why I have pressed ministers directly on how to help Hampshire maintain these services for those such as Holly.”