West Sussex County Council funding cuts
In December 2018, Shelter announced that the number of homeless people that have died in last 5 years have increased by 24%. Homelessness continues to increase. In the South East, the number of people rough sleeping has increased by 261% since 2010.
Therefore, the West Sussex Coalition of Providers are extremely disappointed by West Sussex County Council’s decision to press ahead with major cuts to Housing Related Support and Local Assistance Network (LAN) funding in 2019. This is despite a unanimous recommendation from the Health and Adult Services Select Committee (HASC), on 12th December, that these cuts should be delayed.
To show you just how much impact these cuts will have on the most vulnerable people across the county, please watch our video below.
The final decision has been made by the Cabinet Member Cllr Amanda Jupp, in spite of all our efforts. We recognise the strain on WSCC budgets which is why we formed the West Sussex Coalition of Providers, to engage with them effectively and support them in making an informed decision. We were clear that these decisions should not be made at the expense of those who are most vulnerable.
The Cabinet Member for Adults and Health has approved for:
- the Housing Related Support budget to be cut to £4.6 million in 2019/20 and £2.3 million in 2020/21.
- current Housing Related Support Contracts to be terminated by 30th September 2019.
- WSCC to work with strategic partners, stakeholders and providers to remodel services.
- WSCC to collaborate with District and Borough Councils to develop a homeless reduction strategy for the county.
- the Local Assistance Network (LAN) budget to be cut from £807,000 to £200,000, as of 1st April 2019. The focus of the funding will be for children and families to meet statutory duties and there will only be a small allocation to social enterprises (£50,000 in total).
There is a call-in period to allow for this decision to be challenged by other WSCC members until the 31st December and we urge County Council Elected members to exercise their right to do so.
These cuts will lead to more rough sleepers, more lives lost and remains a deep concern to all members of the West Sussex community. 97% of those responding to the consultation process disagreed with the recommendations.
Which services will be affected?
These services provide an essential safety net for the most vulnerable people within the communities of West Sussex. Housing Related Support gets people back on track and enables them to address the barriers and issues in their lives, which are either the cause or symptom of their vulnerability and severe housing need. Housing Related Supports prevents and provides relief to those who are:
- at risk of becoming homeless
- rough sleeping
It empowers and enables those who are:
- suffering from mental ill health
- who have substance misuse issues
- escaping from domestic abuse
- young people
The LAN provides a financial safety net for Families, those at risk of homelessness and everyone in significant poverty across West Sussex communities.
Stonepillow estimates that these cuts will amount to a reduction in funding for our own services of approximately £300,000.
Post dated 18th December 2018.