An organisation supporting disabled residents in Merton has said it will have to cut some of its services after Merton Council withdrew its funding.

Merton Centre for Independent Living (CIL) describes itself as “the only user-led pan-disability organisation in Merton” and had previously funded its home-visiting disability advice service through council grants.

But the organisation failed in both of its funding bids this year, with the money being given to other groups within the borough, and has announced it will cease its housing and independent living advice service.

Roy Benjamin, Chair of Merton CIL, said: “The real loser in this situation is all of those who use the services we offer, we are completely unique in the borough and there is nowhere else people can go that offer the same services as us.

“We had contemplated a legal challenge on the decision and I think we would have a good case, but at the end of the day we do want to continue to work with the council and it seems clear now they will not be changing their minds.”

According to the organisation’s website, it helped 332 deaf and disabled people with accredited advice and casework, and provided information, signposting and guidance in a further 170 cases last year.

A statement published on CIL’s website added: “For Disabled people who cannot access alternative advice services, it appears that no comparable alternative service is being funded by Merton Council.

“Merton CIL’s capacity to support this most disadvantaged group will be significantly reduced due to the removal of Strategic Partnership funding by Merton Council. Unfortunately this will result in the closure of our housing and independent living advice service.”

Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for community safety, engagement and equalities, cllr Edith Macauley said: “Merton is one of only a few London boroughs not to have cut overall funding for the voluntary sector and we are spending around £4million between 2019 and 2022.

“All bids for funding of the information and advice element of the Strategic Partner Programme 2019-22 were scored against the funding criteria, but not every organisation’s bid was successful.

“Merton Centre for Independent Living’s two bids, the first of which was as part of a consortium and the second bid in a round which was only open to unsuccessful bidders from the first round, scored less highly than the other bids which were received. Merton CIL challenged their score, which was upheld after their bid was reviewed by a council officer who was unconnected to it.

“The programme has commissioned a wide range of high quality and accessible support through this funding, including a central information and advice offer, complemented by a range of services, including specialist legal support and services with proven outreach to communities with some of the most challenging needs. We have been actively working with Merton CIL and our new providers to ensure that anyone who needs advice and support has access to it.”