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Autism Campaigners Snubbed By The Council
Parents of vulnerable children say they are being ignored by council chiefs as emails and repeated calls for a meeting to discuss autism provision go unanswered.
South Lanarkshire Council vowed to consult people affected by autism in shaping its new autism one stop shop.
But parents say there have been no further meetings since May 10 and repeated calls for meaningful discussion go unanswered at every level of the local authority.
Autism campaigner Karen Noble says she has emailed councillors, the council chief executive, head of autism services and staff working on the ground since the new shop launched.
Karen said: “We are telling them our concerns on a ground level and they are telling us they are taking it up the line. They are either not doing that or they are and it’s being blanked.
“I have asked numerous people ‘please will you meet with us?’. Everyone says no. They are not willing to sit down and have a chat. It’s like if they ignore us for long enough we will go away.”
Karen added: “We filled in a questionnaire, we have been given a second questionnaire which is the same as the first. How many times do we have to tell them we need an experienced autism advisor?”
Liam Purdie, head of children and justice services, said the second questionnaire was an example of the council’s efforts to consult parents before making long-term arrangements.
He said: “This consultation has been extensive and taken many forms, including the regular contact we have with local people who are currently benefiting from the interim service we are providing at Hamilton Accies FC.
“As part of this consultation two open days were held at The Jean Brownlie Centre, Hamilton, to give service users a chance to view it as a potential base.
“We have circulated survey questionnaires to all parent/carers, children and stakeholders who visited the centre and the feedback will help us develop the permanent service.
“Feedback from the consultation will be shared with parents/carers and elected members and will inform how we develop and deliver services in partnership across all of South Lanarkshire.”