Concerns have been raised about advocacy and support for those with disabilities, after no organisation in the borough bid to for council funding to undertake the work.

The Lewisham Disability Coalition closed down in January, with its advice and information work passed on to Lewisham Advice – a new service partly run by volunteers.

Lewisham’s new accessibility commission will collect information about discrimination against those with disabilities, but work on the commission isn’t expected for another 12 months.

And no third-sector group made a bid for council funding to undertake the work, Lewisham’s head of service, cultural and community development, James Lee, said.

Speaking at a safer stronger communities select committee, he said: “When we were assessing bids for the equalities coordination function, we didn’t receive any bids for people to undertake the disability work.

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“[This is] Not a huge surprise since the closure of Lewisham Disability Coalition but still a little disappointing. We felt it was a really important part of the scheme.”

He said work on the new Accessibility Commission was hoped to bring forward groups who might want to undertake the work, with the funding put aside until bids are made.

But Cllr Juliet Campbell was concerned there was no “definitive answer” to questions around who was working with the borough’s disabled residents.

“There’s a recognition that there wasn’t any organisation that put in a bid, [but] my question is around what is happening with people with disabilities in Lewisham, if there is no organisation delivering?”

Mr Lee said the council did not know “across the piece who is co-ordinating that work.”

“We know that the services that we are funding that used to be delivered by Lewisham Disability Coalition, are continuing in the Lewisham Advice partnership,” he said.

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“We know that Age UK are occupying the building Lewisham Disability Coalition used to occupy so that any people with disabilities that arrive there seeking support, they will receive it.

“But in terms of gathering the information about where people are being discriminated against or where there are structural barriers to disability, that is currently not being done – that is very clearly the role of the Accessibility Commission that we talked about earlier.

“That is an important piece of work and that is why it is there  in the corporate strategy and why we have held the funding back,” he said.

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