This is a copy of my recent email query to Bath and North East Somerset Council, regarding their plans for Independent Living Fund money, after closure. (Feel free to use as a template, if you wish).
Copied and pasted beneath that, is their short response.
'Dear Ms Luxford
As a long-time Disability Rights activist, I am naturally concerned about the closure of the Independent Living Fund, at the end of June 2015.
Currently, there are twenty five people in the Bath and North East Somerset area who have their lives improved by the ILF.
As I’m sure you are aware, the fund is used in many ways to help disabled people, who need it most.
You will also be aware that many Councils have no plans to ring-fence the money which will be transferred to them after the fund has closed.
I wish to re-iterate how vital it is that the monies are protected, and not directed elsewhere in the budget.
I would be grateful if you could let me know if you have plans to do this, and if not, what will happen to those people who stand to lose out?
Independence, dignity and quality of life, are precious especially to disabled people, which have already been badly hurt by government Welfare Reform policies.
Any re-assurance you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your email enquiry concerning the ILF.
I would like to reassure you that B&NES has allocated the funding due from the ILF at the point of closure to all the current ILF recipients. Each individual has had their personal budget funding from the local authority and their ILF funding combined into one personal budget allocation commencing from the 1st July.
Commissioning & Contracts Manager
Bath & North East Somerset Council
People & Communities Department
This is re-assuring, to a degree, (at least locally), but the fact is, ILF should not be closed in the first place.
Despite a lengthy campaign to save the fund,involving campaign groups and celebrities, (and including a recent 'storming' of Parliament, by disabled people
- http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/24/disability-campaigners-clash-with-police-inside-commons-over-benefit-cuts - the fund is due to close, at the end of June, 2015.
We know that in many cases the money will not be ring-fenced. This will lead to the possibility of allocated funds possibly being used elsewhere. This has in turn, has caused more anxiety, among disabled people, and added to what we feel already!
Although, it is late in the day for me to say so, disabled people deserve better, and have been failed once again by an uncaring government.