Extra year of funds for respite breaks

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CHARITIES that offer respite breaks to families with disabled children have spoken of their relief after a council agreed to fund them for a further year.

The short breaks service was under threat from Hampshire County Council as it looked to cut £1.85m from the £3.2m it set aside to provide these activities.

Hampshire Parent Carer Network launched a petition which drew thousands of signatures calling on the council not to cut their budget until 2017 to give them time to prepare.

Yesterday, lead member for children’s services, Keith Mans, agreed to provide a one-off £2.8m, which will protect the service for a further year.

Gail Bedding, chair of HPCN, said: ‘This proves the power of parents and how we can make a difference to the lives of many families.’

She thanked everyone who signed the petition and who wrote to councillors or MPs.

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