Disabled Wembley resident stages lone protest in Brent Civic Centre over funding request
PUBLISHED: 18:14 12 August 2014 | UPDATED: 18:14 12 August 2014
A disabled resident who claims Brent Council have ignored her pleas for extra funding for her rehabilitation staged a one-woman protest inside the civic centre yesterday.
Angela Smith, who lives in the Chalkhill Estate in Wembley, said she was forced to take the immediate action after town hall bosses snubbed her emails and council workers refused to discuss the issues when she went to see them.
The 52-year-old, who lives alone, suffers from Cerebral Palsy, a neurological condition that affects movement and co-ordination.
She had asked the council for an extra £4,000 to receive specialist treatment at a renowned Peto Institute, in Budapest, Hungary, which helps her to lead more independent lives.
She told the Times: “I have been forced to come here [Brent Civic Centre] to try to discuss the problem but they refused to speak to me. It is outrageous.
“I am strong because of the rehabilitation I received from the centre. It has taught me how to walk, use the toilet without help and generally be more reliant on myself.”
Ms Smith, who has a black belt in karate and enjoys sky-diving, has visited the health centre annually since 1988, which has been funded by her care allowance.
However she claims rising care fees have left her with no many to pay for the trip this year.
“I have sent them [the council] emails, none of which I have had a response from,” she said.
“It is very rude and unprofessional of them not to get back to me.”
Cllr Michael Pavey, deputy leader of the council and one of her councillors, told the Times that he is an admirer of Ms Smith and will work towards securing the extra funding.
He added: “Angela is an incredible, inspiring woman. I’ll ensure that she receives the support she richly deserves.”
Phil Porter, strategic director for adult social care at the council, said they have confirmed with Ms Smith a way forward following her sit-in.
He added: “Angela Smith is a resident who has and continues to receive support from the council.
“She has an allocated social worker, and we have been engaging with her on the specific issue that is mentioned and we have had regular and sustained contact with her over the past few weeks, both via email and face-to-face and we continue to do so.”
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