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Housing funding to be cut

By UttoxeterPostandTimes.3522974.UttoxeterPostandTimes  |  Posted: February 25, 2014

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A FUNDING pot used to help vulnerable residents across Uttoxeter is set to be cut in half in the coming two years.

The £11.5 million Supporting People fund is being reviewed by Staffordshire County Council and it could be reduced by £6 million by 2015/16.

The fund, which was created in 2003, is used to provide housing support to various groups, including domestic violence victims, teenage parents and those with mental health problems.

But cabinet members say the current ‘scatter gun’ set-up, which involves 196 contracts with 43 different providers across Staffordshire, is not achieving the desired results.

Alan White, cabinet member for care, said each of the 196 contracts would be reviewed, with the aim of targeting support towards early intervention and removing duplication of services.

But he insisted the review would be conducted ‘sensitively’, with ‘impact assessments’ being carried out ahead of any decision to end a contract.

He said: “The fund was ring-fenced. As time has gone by things have accumulated but the ring-fence has come off.

“So we have to ask ourselves, if we had a pot of money for supporting people, would we spend it in the way we’re currently spending it?

“There are a whole range of new ways of working that we want to explore.”

Services provided under Supporting People include emergency pull-cord systems, supported housing, and home repairs and adaptations.

The review will see the council working with partners within Staffordshire Health and Wellbeing Board, including police, clinical commissioning groups, and district and borough council, along with housing associations.

The review’s savings target will be £4 million in 2014/15, and a further £2 million in 2015/16, although the report says the need to save money will not be the driving force behind the review.

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