Mark Conrad 19 September 2018

Welfare support has 'collapsed' for many in England

Welfare support has collapsed for many in England image

One in six top-tier councils are not providing vital welfare services devolved to them just as the sector’s budget cuts hit hard.

A study of welfare support by Greater Manchester Poverty Action (GMPA) has found that support for vulnerable people who want to live independently and people facing sudden financial crisis has ‘collapsed’ in many areas of England.

The GMPA found spending on these areas has fallen by 69% - from £139m in 2012/13 to just £46.6m in 2017/18.

It discovered that - of 131 top-tier authorities for which data was provided - 22 do not operate local welfare schemes.

A further 29 local welfare schemes are deemed to be ‘under threat’ due to operating on annual budgets of less than £100,000.

Ministers opted to devolve responsibility for community care grants and crisis loans to local authorities in the form of welfare assistance schemes in 2013.

Researchers warned that local welfare schemes ‘come nowhere close’ to replicating past support.

GMPA director, Graham Whitham, said: ‘The Government’s hands-off approach to crisis support has failed.

'It was unrealistic to expect councils to pick up the responsibility for crisis support during a period when they have faced unprecedented cuts to their budgets.’

Mr Whitham urged ministers to provide annual, ring-fenced funding for schemes and make operating support programmes a statutory requirement.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Looked After Children and Vulnerable Young People

Enfield London Borough Council
Up to £89,319
 This is an exciting opportunity to lead all the services that support Enfield’s children in care and care leavers. Enfield (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Enfield London Borough Council

Head of Communities

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
to £61,751 (pay award pending)
We are looking for an innovative and knowledgeable senior professional to join our leadership team with strong experience of working in communities... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Economic Development Officer (Town Centres)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878 per annum
The Economic Development Officer (Town Centres) post forms part of the Council’s Business Focus team who provide help directly to businesses. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Educational Psychologist

Camden London Borough Council
£44,131 - £53,34
The ideal candidates will have an excellent understanding of psychological frameworks and their application in... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Economic Development Officer

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band F, £29,636 - £32,878
Are you interested in a challenge and want to help shape the future of North West Leicestershire? Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue