Scheme for disabled shoppers in Peterborough to lose all council funding

Funding for Shopmobility at Queensgate Shopping Centre is being removed by Peterborough City Council.

Saturday, 5th October 2019, 6:58 am
Shopmobility volunteers Roy Harris and Molly Wright at Queensgate EMN-190928-181517009

The cash-strapped authority, which has around £25 million of savings to make, is planning to end the £14,000 a year subsidy. Shopmobility, which declined to comment, provides wheelchairs and scooters for disabled shoppers. It also receives funding from Queensgate, although the centre would not say how much that was.

Adrian Chapman, council service director for communities and safety, said: “We have been honest with Disability Peterborough for some time about the severe financial pressures that we face and the potential that we might one day have to stop subsidising the Shopmobility service.

“As a result we wrote to Disability Peterborough in July giving notice that we would be unable to fund the service from October. We hoped that during this time Disability Peterborough would have been able to find alternative funds so that this valuable service can continue, perhaps with sponsorship or through charging users a small fee, similar to other Shopmobility services locally.”

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Queensgate said it will continue to offer funding and free rent to Shopmobility.

A spokesman for the centre said it “remains committed to its long-term friends, Shopmobility, as we recognise the importance of the services they provide to residents and visitors to Peterborough city centre”.