A Shopmobility scheme in Cambridge has brought in charges on its mobility equipment but the move has attracted ‘uniform hostility’, according to an unpublished council consultation.
The council’s mobility scheme has introduced a £40 membership and £5 daily equipment fee from this month, which it has done in the face of growing financial pressure.
Speaking with the Cambridge Independent, Cambridge’s Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Tim Bick, said: “It’s hardly surprising that the responses were few, but they were strikingly clear in their opposition. The results were never provided to councillors before the charges went ahead.
“In this case, it’s so much more outrageous because its impact is to the detriment of disabled and elderly people, those who Cambridge should be leaning over backward to include in the life of the city.”
The Shopmobility charges have been brought in following a review of the service which was designed to ensure the service can continue to operate and provide assistance for people with reduced mobility visiting the city centre, despite a loss of funding.
Similar funding cuts have already seen other similar services around the country close their doors for good in recent months.
The service costs around £165,000 each year to run and in 2016 Cambridgeshire County Council withdrew the £49,500 of funding from the scheme.