Wigan Council’s hunt for a local business to step in and offer a replacement mobility equipment hire service has so far produced no volunteers.
The council is searching for a company to work alongside it to provide a Shopmobility service after the original service, which had been running for 32 years, closed earlier this year.
The Shopmobility, which loaned mobility scooters and wheelchairs to people on a short-term basis, had been run by the council until seven years ago after which it cut £100,000 of funding for the service.
Falling sales, inflation costs and salary and pension increases forced trustees of the Shopmobility to close the store.
A spokesman for Wigan Council told local newspaper, the Leigh Journal: “We have approached a number of private businesses in the borough who could deliver this type of service and offered them support but sadly nobody has yet taken up the offer.
“Although this is not a service the council is directly required to offer, we do understand its importance for residents and will continue to do what we can to find a potential provider.”
Some local residents say they feel they have ‘lost their independence’ and have had to resort to shopping online since the mobility scooter service closed.
In many areas of the country councils have deals with mobility providers to help them offer a Shopmobility service whereby businesses supply equipment and maintenance.
But nation-wide funding cuts have forced many Shopmobility services to close if they are unable to find the necessary cash.
Image: Wigan Council’s Shopmobility service closed recently after 32 years of operations. Image credit: Google