The ‘One Stop Shop’ must stay open

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has today made a final plea to the leaders of both North and South Lanarkshire Councils – calling on them to put their differences aside and work in the best interests of the local people.

The ‘One Stop Shop’ has been operational in Motherwell for the past 3 years and has become a key service for those with ASD and their families.

North Lanarkshire Council and South Lanarkshire Council have release contradictory statements – both claiming that they are not responsible for the failure to fund the service and putting the blame on each other.

The Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, said -“The option of continuing to provide the service on a cross-Lanarkshire basis was then removed when North Lanarkshire Council indicated that its preference was to provide support locally through other services.”

However, Paul Jukes, Chief Executive Officer at North Lanarkshire Council, claimed on that “A meeting has been arranged for today with the families. The purpose of this meeting will be to listen to the families and see if there are any gaps in service that we can fill, not from the current building, as this is now not viable as South Lanarkshire has taken the decision not to continue funding… “

The doors of the ‘One Stop Shop’ are set to close in a few days for good and parents will have to seek alternative arrangements.

Commenting, Angela said:

“The ‘One Stop Shop’ is a lifeline to families across Lanarkshire. It’s a service too important and established to give up on a whim.

“Both North and South Lanarkshire Councils are all over the place on this – one is saying it’s the others fault and vice-versa.

“Only one of the Councils can be correct. Both must clarify this as a matter of urgency – if the facility is to close, which local authority is responsible for the break-down in communication?

“The support for those with ASD and their families is too important to risk on half-baked proposals. It’s clear that the plans produced as alternatives are not ready to be put into action.

“I therefore call on both Councils to stop blaming each other and to put their differences aside.

“Interim funding must now be put in place to secure the ‘One Stop Shop’ for at least another year – that way parents can have confidence in the alternative proposals and can prepare properly for the future.