David Heath MP, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Somerton and Frome

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Shopmobility must stay in Frome, says David Heath

After the Conservative administration at Mendip voted to scrap Shopmobility at their Full Council on Wednesday night, David Heath and Councillor Alvin Horsfall have reacted with disgust.

David Heath, who has been a supporter of the service since it was first launched, said: ‘This service is for elderly and disabled residents to enable them to access the shops and services in Frome, and a decision to scrap it can only be considered shocking.

‘Since the Tory plans were published in local papers, I have received many calls in my office from worried residents who use the service to do their shopping and to socialise with their friends. Regular users of Shopmobility are concerned that without the service they will be even more limited in their ability to get out and about.

‘I still cannot believe that any council would look to save money at the expense of the elderly and disabled. I know how much the Shopmobilty service is valued in Frome and I am appalled the Conservatives are determined to close it.’

Cllr Alvin Horsfall says: ‘The Conservatives shed crocodile tears at Mendip last night when they said they cared about the people who use Shopmobility, but when it came down to it they voted their proposals through without a second thought.

‘There were two large petitions collected by members of the public, and there were public speakers urging them not to make the decision; even members of the Conservative party asked if there was a way to save it.

"Yet despite these protestations, there was no explanation of how Shopmobility could continue if it was removed from Mendip’s budget, simply a block vote to scrap it. They justified their actions by saying it saves taxpayer’s money, but the truth is simply that bad financial management has left them absolutely no option but to cut every single service they provide to the bone. "In addition, it doesn’t seem to have occurred to the Conservatives that disabled people are taxpayers too!

‘My colleague Cllr Maggy Daniell put it very well when she said: these people are not disabled; they are people with conditions who are able, with help, to go about their daily activities. Cutting Shopmobility actually makes them disabled, as without the service they cannot do what they would like to do.

‘They should be ashamed of themselves.’

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