CONCERN has been raised about a lack of progress on a strategy for people with autism across Argyll and Bute.

But the chair of the area’s health and social care partnership (HSCP) insists that a draft for the programme is almost ready for feedback from the relevant groups.

Councillor Kieron Green, who took over as chair of the HSCP’s integrated joint board earlier this year, was responding to a comment from SNP councillor Anne Horn at a meeting of the full council on April 18.

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Councillor Green’s report, produced in advance of Thursday’s meeting, informed the council that a short life working group on the autism strategy continues to meet.

But Councillor Horn, who represents the Kintyre and the Islands ward, said: “The group has not met for a long time. Members have worked for 10 years to get this strategy in place.

“There is real concern among the autism community and there is no evidence that the council is being pro-active on this.

“Members of the strategic group’s board are not aware of what is happening, or even if there is still a strategic group. It is a real concern.”

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Councillor Green replied: “As indicated, the strategy has reached a draft stage.

“I haven’t seen the draft but I have been told that the next step would be for it to go out to the appropriate groups for feedback.

“Last time I was informed that the group was still meeting. I went to a meeting back in September and I don’t know when it has met since.”

He had written in his report: “The short life working group for learning disabilities and autism continues to meet, with specific areas being looked at.

“Children and families staff will lead future meetings with adult services and education around transitions.

Draft strategies for learning disabilities (Keys to Life) and autism have been written, with the autism draft now going to be taken out to consultation with appropriate groups.”

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