A support network for disabled people that is facing financial challenges has called for more backing from a council.

Harrow Association for Disabled People (HAD) urged Harrow Council to reintroduce welfare benefits funding as part of its latest budget.

The service was cut in 2017 – forcing HAD to rely on other forms of income – and, in the past two years, it has used £92,000 from its reserves.

Now Nigel Long, chief executive of HAD, explained that an anticipated £40,000 funding gap for 2019/20 will be covered by a legacy gift.

He said: “We recognise that Tory austerity since 2010 continues, and that disabled people have been hit very hard by this.

“We further note that some Harrow Council cuts have hit services to some of the poorest disabled households in the borough.

“We think council cuts to disabled people have been counterproductive, leading to higher homeless and residential care costs as independent living is undermined.”

HAD suggested the council reduce spending in certain areas, which would free up £35,000 that could be spent to support disabled people in the borough.

As part of the council’s latest draft budget, it highlighted seven areas of investment, including street cleaning, enforcement teams, school improvements and ‘community cohesion’, which would cost £965,000.

Mr Long proposed cutting spending on each of these areas by £5,000.

Alternatively, he suggested knocking £35,000 off the £500,000 earmarked for cleaning and building repairs on the council’s corporate sites.

“Don’t spend half a million pounds on cleaning and put some money into welfare benefits,” he said.

Cllr Adam Swersky, responsible for finance at Harrow Council, said the budget will remain “open-ended” until it is finalised.

He said: “Now is a good time to look at it again – this is a draft budget and I look forward to hearing the responses to the consultation.”