Mark Conrad 19 September 2018

Welfare support has 'collapsed' for many in England

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

Youth Offending Team Officer (Qualified)

Leicestershire County Council
£33,558
Within the principle aims of preventing offending by children and young people. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Communications Manager (Improvement Journey)

Lancashire County Council
£34,373-£39,579
Lancashire County Council is changing... Could you be part of our journey? Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Legal Caseworker (Children and Education) - 12 months duration

Essex County Council
£19867 - £23374 per annum + + 25 Days Leave & Defined Benefit Pension
Please note that interview will take place on the 24th August 2022. As an Anywhere (hybrid) Worker, your role will have a ECC base location, as sho England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Volunteer Services Officer

Lancashire County Council
£22,129-£25,927
Lancashire Volunteer Partnership (LVP) was set up in 2016 as a gateway into public volunteer services. Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Planning Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£32,868 - £36,579
Your work and advice will help us to put local people at the heart of everything we do. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.