AN AUTISM awareness campaigner who petitioned the Welsh Government earlier this year to fund the charity that supported him has had his proposal discussed in the Senedd for the second time.

Aled Thomas, 23, from Penarth, submitted his petition in June calling on the Welsh Government to give financial to support to Autism Spectrum Connections Cymru (ASCC), the charity which helped him after his own autism diagnosis.

The petitions committee is not currently looking at re-allocating the funds, however they have agreed to examine the ways in which funding was distributed, asking whether or not third sector organisations were able to apply.

Mr Thomas said: “Whilst I believe that the response at this stage is adequate, the petitions committee should be inquiring about the type of specialist autism support that the Welsh Government ought to be funding, and not only inquire whether third sector organisations have had the chance to apply or not”.

Mr Thomas claims that the Welsh Government is backing proposals made by the Welsh Local Government Association , at the expense of suggestions from other sources.

He said: “The proposed autism strategy for spending £13m on developing a National Integrated Autism Service (NIAS) will not enhance the services offered at ASCC to any extent.

“I’m still concerned that the government is only targeting the money on developing their own statutory body and that the type of specialist support offered at ASCC is being ignored.”

During the meeting at the petitions committee on Tuesday, November 21, Assembly Members backed concerns that avenues for external organisations to apply for funding had been restricted and confirmed an investigation will take place.

Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth AM added: “I have had contacts from others who are concerned about the need to ensure that third sector organisations have adequate access to funding streams.”

Petition committee chairman David Rowlands AM agreed that ASCC appeared to be benefitting the local community.

Mr Thomas said: “I’m hoping that a new Welsh Autism Bill for Wales will ensure that the right sort of provision will be funded by the government in the future.”