Disabled in the line of fire

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Once again Scottish Borders Council is about to hit us with severe cuts in services – and the disabled and vulnerable are in the frontline.

This time round it is the Ability Centre in Galashiels that is proposed for closing, thus taking away members’ dignity, pride and chance to show their ability, not disability.

When I heard about this dastardly deed I wrote to my councillor, John Mitchell, letting him know my disgust about the centre closing. His reply to me was not to believe all I read about this matter as, for the last 12 months, discussions had been taking place for redesign, not closure.

Both as a minibus driver and volunteer, I used to convey people to and from the centre and know how much it meant to them. Also, my sister from Selkirk was a member and I saw how much she got from attending.

Not only does the centre give disabled people the chance to show their abilities, it also takes away the grind of sitting on their own day in day out.

In 2012 the Paralympics did a lot for disabled people and that good work must continue.

We, as caring, humane people, cannot stand back any longer and let the disabled and vulnerable be picked on. We are seeing it at the Ability Centre by the local authority and at national level where the Westminster coalition government, in which local MP Michael Moore is a minister, is closing Remploy factories, thus taking away disabled jobs, pride, dignity and the right to work.

If SBC does decide to close the Ability Centre, then I will demand a full headcount vote when the decision is taken, so we will all know how each councillor votes.

A. Cruickshank

Langlee Drive

Galashiels