A DISABILITY charity which was rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors has announced it will be merging with a housing association later this year.

Housing association Aster announced on Monday, August 1, that the disability charity Enham Trust is set to join its group, subject to consultation and final approval in the autumn.

Enham Trust is a disability charity that supports disabled people to live, work and enjoy life to the full, with the belief that disability should not act as a barrier. While primarily based in the Andover area, it also provides services across Somerset, Wiltshire and Plymouth.

Earlier this year, the Enham Trust’s care homes were rated as ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission, and the charity was put into special measures.

Aster Group chief executive Bjorn Howard said that, by working together, “Enham Trust could draw on the larger resources and expertise of our group”.

Enham Trust chief executive Simon Williams added that the charity is “excited” by the plans.

He said: “Aster are as passionate about Enham’s work as we are.”

However, the announcement has raised concern among some members of the community.

Reacting to the news, Cllr Phil North, leader of Test Valley Borough Council, said he was “surprised and disappointed”, adding that he would be calling for an “urgent meeting” with the trust, and urging residents to contact him with any feedback.

You can read the full story and reaction in this week's paper. Also in this week's edition:

  • An independent business owner has announced he will be leaving Andover town centre as he expands, citing “petty” council policies which he says have prevented him from finding suitable premises. 
  • A company which makes children’s car seats and pushchairs has confirmed that it will cease manufacturing at its Andover site at the end of this year.
  • The leader of the borough council has explained why the authority’s illegal encampment injunction has not been useful in the removal of travellers from Picket Twenty.
  • A football fan from Andover has been banned from attending his club’s games after he threw several bins towards the pitch.
  • A brand new cafe is set to open in Andover after the owners of popular SP cocktail bar announced a new venture.
  • A satirical guide to Andover has gone viral on social media platform TikTok.
  • An Andover care home will remain closed until the autumn, the county council has confirmed in response to calls for a decision on its future.
  • A village has been without some mobile or data signals for more than a month and a business owner has been “massively” impacted.
  • PLUS: Two pages of YOUR letters
  • PICTURES: Andover Fire Station celebrates 60th anniversary with family fun day
  • Cllr Phil North's August column
  • An eight-page puzzle special
  • Entertainment news
  • Sports news
  • And much, much more
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