Cancer-survivor backs Portsmouth City Council’s plea for the disabled 

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THE fight against the disability benefits system branded a ‘disgrace’ by Portsmouth City Council must continue, a Farlington resident has said.

Cancer-survivor Glenn Kirven was buoyed by councillors’ resolve at the last full council meeting to lobby the government for changes to the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) system.

The 64-year-old, who lives on Waterworks Road, was left £500 a month out of pocket after a PIP assessment earlier this year concluded he was mobile, despite his doctor confirming he would never walk properly again and previously being eligible for Disability Support Allowance (DSA).

Following an operation in 2005 to remove a tumour from his jaw and replace the bone with a part of his tibia, Mr Kirven suffered a disfigured leg severely limiting his mobility.

‘My doctors had sent through paperwork that said I have got serious problems with walking but this wasn’t taken into account,’ he said.

‘Because I was able to stand from my chair they said that I was able to walk. Why wasn’t the opinion of my doctor taken into account?

‘When something like this happens to you you feel so alone. All my working life I’ve never claimed anything because I’ve had a good enough salary. But when you actually need help and they take it away from you like that it’s devastating.’

The council’s head of health, Cllr Matthew Winnington, confirmed that he was, along with colleagues, preparing to fight for an overhaul of the system.

He said: ‘Unfortunately this sort of situation is incredibly common. The government is effectively ignoring the expert opinions of medical professionals and it’s just not good enough.

‘A letter is being produced at the moment that will be available for all the councillors to sign which will then go to the secretary of state. We are committed to continuing to lobby for change.’