CAMPAIGNERS fighting for the rights of children and adults with disabilities have voiced their anger in a meeting with politicians.

Organisers of the #NeedsToo campaign attended a meeting at Rendezvous on Friday, April 5, with North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse and Hampshire county councillor Kirsty North, who is member of the authority’s Children and Young People Select Committee.

Mr Malthouse and Cllr North heard questions from the group and personal stories about effects of cuts to a multitude of services on families.

National cuts were cited as the reason why Andover and District Mencap (ADM) were forced to close an after-school activities club last month.

Chris Dixon, chief executive of ADM, was present at Friday’s meeting and confirmed that funding had been “cut by a considerable amount.”

ADM usually receives £130,000 per year from Hampshire County Council (HCC). This year it was funded for just six months, receiving £40,000 for that period.

Mr Malthouse said at the meeting that HCC has “very difficult decisions they have had to make” and that HCC leader Roy Perry has been “having to find, within the financial envelope he’s got, efficiencies and savings.”

Nicola Smith, an organiser of the #NeedsToo campaign, is one of the mothers affected by the after-school club closure and addressed Mr Malthouse on Monday.

She said: “I work full-time. I am an assistant headteacher at a school. What exactly at are we going to do with our children who need this care?

“We are here to say that this has got to stop.”

The funding cuts have also affected adults’ social services.

Kate Ivey, another campaign organiser, says her 18-year-old son, Connor, will be unable to get himself to college without an over-16s transport service which has also been affected by the cuts.

“Connor is unable to go to college himself. He can’t get to work. What’s he doing to do in later life? He will be left with absolutely nothing.

“We have young people leaving school and college who can tell you want they want to do.

“Connor can’t. He can’t stand in front of you now and tell you what his goals and aspirations are for the future. I have to do that for him.”

Kate added: “We are disgruntled parents and we won't just go away.”

Both children’s services and adults’ health social care are the responsibility of HCC. The cuts they have made are in response to national austerity measures which has seen the authority’s own budget slashed repeatedly and significantly.

At the meeting Mr Malthouse said: “I am constantly trying to create pressure at the top and in decisions with Kirsty [North] and her colleagues at the county council. So there are two levers we can push.

“I am very conscious in this meeting that Connor is my constituent too. I do feel a sense of responsibility.

“I am more than happy to hear the anger and frustration and take it back [to Parliament] and try to reflect it in government policy.”