A charity has asked for Lewisham’s recently-closed disability coalition to be re-opened amid concerns support services for disabled residents are being “eroded”.

Lewisham’s disability coalition, which provided services and advice including on benefits, closed in December due to “financial difficulties”.

It had been awarded £87,565 in a grant from Lewisham Council, with  £65,674 paid out.

The mayor and cabinet resolved to stop funding the coalition last month after the charity was closed, with two people made redundant.

"Urgent action” was needed to cut down on costs and attract extra funding in the last year, according to a council report.

But Disability Rights UK policy manager Philip Connolly said any decision to close local support and advice services for the disabled was “highly regrettable”.

“This is also happening nationally, the advice services are gradually being eroded at a time when people need support to exercise their rights,” he said.

“We would hope this would be reversed.”

While the coalition mainly provided information and advice, there are five residents with disabilities who still need “extensive non-advice support”.

Their information would be passed on to Lewisham Advice, a new service partly staffed by volunteers, according to a council report.

But Mr Connolly also shared concern for the move towards relying on volunteers to provide support and advice.

“We have spent years professionalising the service and it’s all being lost,” he added.

The coalition reportedly came into financial difficulty three years ago.

Lewisham Council expects to save £51,079 from the coalition's closure but could also be liable for any winding-up costs.

This also comes amid reports the rolling out of the personal independent payments system, which began to replace disability living allowance in 2013, has caused hardship for many.