PROTESTORS besieged Sandwell Council last night over the future of Sandwell disabled people’s charity Ideal for All.

The organisation bussed in members to Oldbury for the protest despite the future of the group not being on the council meeting’s agenda.

The Clinical Commissioning Group withdrew funding for IFA and executives believe Sandwell Council cuts will hit the disabled hard.

Protestors handed a petition with 6302 names to council chiefs in the hope disabled residents in Sandwell will not get hit by cuts and the organisation state of the art centre in West Bromwich remains open.

Executive director of Ideal for All Mr. Naeem Arif said: “The issue of significant cut in funding means significantly reduced service.

“The accumulative cut to funding is 75 per cent from both the CCG and SMBC.

“It is a real tragedy that during the times of austerity when support services are most needed by vulnerable groups, Sandwell Council and CCG have decided to make such drastic cuts.”

He added: “Our experience shows that the support services are a life line to many isolated and marginalised groups in society.

“The cuts would also mean 50 employees losing their jobs, many of whom are disabled.”

Last year IFA received more than 33,000 calls and visits requesting help, information and for small pieces of equipment that help people to be more independent in their own homes in Sandwell.

Sue Bott, director of policy at Disability Rights UK said: "Ideal for All in Sandwell is one of the country’s finest examples of what can be achieved when disabled people are supported to lead their organisations and empowered to decide how they want to live their lives. “We have been closely watching the developments in Sandwell and call Sandwell Council and CCG to review their decision as it could become a national case study.”

Sandwell Council leader Darren Cooper rebuked Ideal for All executives for the protest.

He said: “Today we agreed that Ideal for All has won its tender so I am very disappointed about this protest because I believe the very well paid executives of Ideal for All have whipped up everyone about the disabled having services cut when this is not the case.

“Sandwell Council have been a partner of the centre and Ideal for All for years so to say that the place is in danger is totally wrong, we will continue to provide care and services for the most vulnerable in the borough during this very tough economic time.”