Circus trip reward for campaigning residents

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A GROUP of disabled campaigners from Fleet celebrated helping to save their right to be mobile with a trip to the circus.

The group, from Hovenden House, have been campaigning for more than a year since the Government announced plans to remove a disability living allowance. It pays for an adapted car or taxi when it would be impossible to use public transport.

Eight residents went on the trip to see the Chinese State Circus at Skegness Embassy Theatre.

Resident Andrew Pearce (28) said: “We are very happy the Government has decided not to remove the mobility allowance.

“This payment is crucial to us and thousands of others, and means we can maintain our independence. If this bill had not been reversed, we would not have been able to do this trip, which was a thoroughly enjoyable day.”

The residents joined in the national campaign by writing to local MP John Hayes, adding comments to an online protest when 5,000 disabled people went to London and signing a petition to disability minister Maria Miller asking the Government to rethink the cut.

Clare Pelham, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, said: “We applaud the Government for listening to the thousands of disabled people who have raised this issue and reversing the plan to scrap this vital benefit.

“This allowance can make the difference between being able to get out independently and being trapped inside.”