A council has been branded "ridiculous" for criticising mental health provision in town – a year after its funding cuts contributed to the closure of a Uttoxeter psychiatric charity.
A recent East Staffordshire Borough Council report found that people in Uttoxeter had "relatively little access" to mental health services.
In July 2016 Art and Soul had to close its doors when it could no longer access funding from the authority.
The Market Place charity’s boss Vikki Baker said the decision to axe £366,000 in grant aid across the borough was among the reasons for Art and Soul's closure.
Another charity which closed its Uttoxeter base last year was Changes, which lost out to Together for Mental Wellbeing in Staffordshire County Council’s most recent tender for mental health services.
The borough council's report on mental health services in Uttoxeter reads: "There are fewer services available in Uttoxeter or the more rural areas of East Staffordshire.
"Recent closures of Art and Soul, ending of the Changes contract and uncertainty about the new Together service and the Virgin Care out-of-hours service mean that people are less able to access crisis care immediately.
"Voluntary services are planning a drive to recruit more volunteers but more comprehensive services are needed to reach all areas equitably."
A worker for Changes, who could not be named for data protection reasons, said: "The borough council can shout about it and say it’s inadequate, but then won’t give any money to make the situation better. We have to fight and fight for funding all the time.
"Their stance is ridiculous. It’s like having a car, not paying to have it serviced, then complaining when it breaks down.
"If you’re not going to put the funding in, you don’t have a leg to stand on if you’re complaining the provision’s not good enough.”
A borough council spokesman said: "East Staffordshire Borough Council is not responsible for the delivery of any health service - it’s the responsibility of other organisations such as Staffordshire County Council, Public Health England and the NHS among others.
"East Staffordshire Borough Council however does plays an important role in scrutinising the quality of local health services through its statutory health scrutiny function.
"The committee’s recent report highlighted that while there is access to mental health services for residents in Uttoxeter and rural areas, services are more concentrated in Burton.
"This led to the committee recommending that steps are taken to influence Staffordshire County Council and local NHS providers to provide more comprehensive services across East Staffordshire to reach all areas equitably, including Uttoxeter."
Changes franchise owner Yvonne Street opened a peer support group last month at Burton Fire Station.
She is encouraging people from Uttoxeter who are struggling and may need help to book places by calling 01827 311006.