Labour councillors slam County Council decision to cut housing support funding - The Rugby Observer

Labour councillors slam County Council decision to cut housing support funding

Rugby Editorial 18th Sep, 2015 Updated: 27th Oct, 2016   0

“SAVAGE cuts” are being made to housing support services for disadvantaged and vulnerable people, according to Labour councillors.

They slammed Warwickshire County Council’s decision to cut annual funding to the service by almost £4million – from £8.6 million to £4.8 million by 2018.

Coun Maggie O’Rourke said her party had ‘called in’ the decision, which she described as neither sensible nor morally right.

She said: “These cuts will not be savings; they will be costs and will continue to be costs faced by all of us.

“We’re talking about those with mental health issues, the disabled and those who have faced difficulties and who are now trying to find a way out. We estimate the cuts will affect approximately 3,000 people directly, and all of us indirectly, in Warwickshire.”

The services provide health and social care to the elderly, victims of abuse and the homeless across the county – helping them to stay in their own homes.

Liberal Democrat leader Coun Jerry Roodhouse, who was unable to vote against the proposals due to having seats on both Rugby Borough Council and the County Council, said: “It seems to me that we’re hitting some of the potentially more vulnerable groups.

“It seems we’re not sure what the impact will be when we stop funding specialist support for homeless families or offenders with support needs.

“They’re saying there’s a conflict of financial interests with the district councils but this hasn’t even been debated at Rugby Borough Council. This is just a scrutiny exercise to examine what the impacts are.”

Supporting the decision, the Leader of Warwickshire County Council Izzi Seccombe said: “Housing Related Support is provided for people who sit outside Social Care need. Many authorities have stopped providing this service some years ago, others have reduced it. Warwickshire, unusually, has continued to maintain this service at a high level.

“The essential responsibility of the Conservative administration is to ensure we provide services to the most vulnerable who do need Social Care support.

“The Conservative budget decision, which was supported by two other groups, allows the retention of nearly £4m of Housing Related Support, allowing those on the edge of need to be helped.

“Labour wish to retain the whole budget, with no requirement to innovate to save money. This would means savings would have to come from Social Care in order to balance the budget, leaving people who depend on Home Care or Support facing risk to their services.”

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