Shop­mo­bil­ity scheme safe – for now

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

A SCHEME that helps Ash­ford shop­pers with mo­bil­ity prob­lems has re­ceived a tem­po­rary re­prieve from Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil.

The Shop­mo­bil­ity ser­vice had to close ear­lier this month due to lack of funds only 16 months af­ter mov­ing into a new shop in County Square.

But now the coun­cil has come to its res­cue to help main­tain a tem­po­rary ser­vice from June 1 un­til an al­ter­na­tive provider can be found. It will op­er­ate seven days a week for ad­vance book­ings only.

Cllr Michael Claughton, port­fo­lio holder for com­mu­nity mat­ters, said: “ABC val­ues hav­ing a Shop­mo­bil­ity ser­vice that al­lows dis­abled peo­ple to visit the town cen­tre and main­tain their in­de­pen­dence.”

But he warned: “While we have pro­vided con­sid­er­able help and sup­port to Shop­mo­bil­ity Ash­ford over the years, we can­not pro­vide on­go­ing core fund­ing.

“We are ex­tremely grate­ful to County Square man­age­ment for their of­fer to help us pro­vide a tem­po­rary ser­vice while we in­ves­ti­gate op­tions for the fu­ture.”

The scheme has run for seven years in Ash­ford, pro­vid­ing scoot­ers and wheel­chairs to rent out to shop­pers with mo­bil­ity prob­lems.

It costs about £14,000 a year to run.

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