Disabled people's project is cut by Leicestershire council to save cash
A recycling scheme that provides work and training for people with severe learning difficulties looks set to be axed by county council bosses to save cash.
The Loughborough-based Charnwood Recycling Project provides work for more than 30 adults with Down's syndrome, Asperger's syndrome and autism. The project collects items such as cans, paper and textiles from 36 points around Charnwood and North West Leicestershire, which are sorted by workers who are then paid from the proceeds of recycling them.
The scheme was set up by Leicestershire County Council's social services in 2006 and costs £100,000 a year to run but it is now likely to become casualty of a drive to save £66 million by 2014.
The council says it is not obliged to run the project so it could have its funding cut.
County Hall says it has investigated other potential sources of funding for the scheme but without success.
David Sprason, county council cabinet member for adults and communities, said: "Decisions about changes to services are not made lightly, but as we need to save around £66 million over the next four years.
"We are faced with tough choices."
Some of the people who work at the recycling project, in Festival Drive, Loughborough, are also supported by the town's Glebe House Project which supports people of all ages who have severe learning difficulties.
Alyson Hunter, Glebe House's project manager said: "It's desperately sad.
"We are told a decision has not been finalised yet but it looks quite bleak."
Loughborough county councillor and leader of County Hall's Labour opposition group Max Hunt said: "This looks like an easy target for Tory cuts.
"They are taking away from people who do not have a voice."
If the project is scrapped by the councils, the waste could be sent to other contractors.