£40,000 towards ongoing services for autism

Two OSSA staff to transfer to Hope for Autism

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North Lanarkshire Council has pledged £40,000 towards ongoing services for autism.

The move came after Scottish Government funding for the One Stop Shop for Autism (OSSA) in Motherwell came to an end.

As part of a transition plan agreed between the council, Scottish Government and HOPE for Autism, the money will fund the transfer of two OSSA staff to HOPE for Autism, with additional short-term funding provided by the government.

Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: "I understand that the campaigners who wished to see OSSA continue are disappointed by its closure. But it is essential that properly integrated services are available for children and adults with autism and OSSA did not meet that requirement.

"Everyone has to focus on the essential transition to other services and I'm pleased that we have been able to provide this funding and also lead discussions between all the relevant agencies to achieve a transition plan.

"Councillors on all sides of the chamber spoke eloquently in the debate and many have made their views clear. I would like to pay particular tribute to Councillor Paul Kelly, who led the strategic talks between the council, Scottish Government, NHS and Scottish Autism, and Councillor Pat O'Rourke, who has direct family experience of the issues involved. Councillors David Baird, Steven Bonnar and Rosa Zambonini should also be recognised in their contribution to the debate and their hard work in pressing the council for a solution.

"We will now make sure that there is a successful transition for OSSA service users, with full recognition of their needs. This funding goes a long way towards securing that."

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