A DISABLED veteran has criticised Southend Council for cutting funding which paid for his care.

Naval veteran Ron Alexander claims he has been forced to pay an extra £130 a week after the council refused to continue supporting him - money which he used to use to employ a carer to help him during the evenings.

The 68-year-old, from Southend, said: “There was no reason given for the sudden cut in services, even after year of making payments.

“Although I told them that I was not able to afford to pay for my own care, I was advised that nothing could be done.”

Mr Alexander suffers with severe arthritis stemming from an accident during his time in the Royal Navy, and was inspired to campaign for disability rights after his own condition left him wheelchair-bound 23 years ago. He experienced first-hand the prejudice and difficulties disabled people face on a daily basis.

Ron also stands as president of DIAL, the Disability Information Advice Line, in Southend, which supports up to 30 people with a range of disabilities every week.

He continued: “I now have to rely on my family for this care, particularly my 14-year-old granddaughter. She was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer herself two years ago and is still being monitored by the University College Hospital London (UCLH).

“Why should I, or any other veteran, who put their life on the line for their Queen and country be treated like a second-class citizen? I feel the authority aren’t interested in veterans who served for their country.

“There will be some out there left with little choice but to find their own funding or simply go without care.”

Councillor Anne Jones, cabinet member for children and learning, wouldn’t comment on the individual case but said the council’s adult social care team was responsible for more than 2,600 people over the age of 65.

She said: “We do all they can to help. Everyone who has care needs in Southend receives financial assessment to establish how much they can contribute.

“Adjustments to care package costs are made based on evidence supplied by the person receiving care.

“We’re always willing to carry out further care assessment if a resident is unhappy. Carers are also entitled to their own individual assessment and young carers are offered a raft of support via our young carers’ services.”