Manchester

PM 'broke disability pledge', say Manchester couple

Ged Fay
Image caption Ged Fay said his family "deserves actions not words"

A Manchester couple have said the prime minister has forgotten his pledge to help their two disabled children.

Ged and Janet Fay, from Withington, want continuing care at home for their daughter Jerry, 19, and 25-year-old son Daniel.

Mr Cameron told the family he would "bash down the walls of the council" to help them keep their children at home.

A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Cameron had since written in person to the couple.

But Mr Fay said he was disappointed that the prime minister had not helped them to achieve long term care for his children.

"He made a promise to me. I didn't ask him for his help, he offered. I'm sorry, if needs be I'll go down to London and I'll knock on his door," he said.

Mr and Mrs Fay said they had been battling the authorities for 25 years to get the right education and care for their two children.

Both are autistic and Jerry has severe learning difficulties whilst Daniel has the mental age of a seven-year-old.

The Withington couple's latest fight was for equipment for a sensory room built for Jerry and funded by Manchester City Council.

Last August, they thought they had been thrown a lifeline when during a live television debate Mr Fay told Mr Cameron of his frustration, saying that he sometimes "felt like jumping off a bridge".

The prime minister replied: "We should always try to keep our children at home, rather than have them go into care.

"So, if it's not working, I'll help you, if necessary, to bash down the walls of the council to make sure the social workers are listening to you, because, in the end, you pay your taxes."

In December 2010, Mr Cameron wrote to Mr and Mrs Fay expressing his sympathy for the family and offering practical advice.

Care unresolved

Two days later, the health authority finally agreed to pay £11,000 to equip the sensory room.

However, Mr Fay said the issue of continuing care for his children was still unresolved.

"My daughter should have a package of care that meets her needs. And my son doesn't want to go to a day centre and do basket weaving all day," he said.

"We want them to go out and be part of their community, not shut away and forgotten."

A spokesperson for NHS Manchester said: "We have agreed funding for an interim care package which Mr Fay's family will receive until the end of March 2011.

"This includes sufficient funds for him to purchase the equipment required for the sensory room at his house."

Meanwhile, an independent review of the long-term care of Mr and Mrs Fay's children is expected to report in February 2011.

Watch the couple's story again on Inside Out North West via the iPlayer.

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