Following the recent Budget meeting at North East Lincolnshire Council, details are now starting starting to emerge following the tense Budget meeting, that at times had to be brought back into line by the Mayor Hazel Chase.
Councillor Jackson has released this statement highlighting his views on some of the events and the background.
At North East Lincolnshire Council’s annual budget setting meeting on 21 February, the Conservative Opposition Group was pilloried by Labour for proposing the removal of £300,000 from the Home Options/Housing Related Support budget. However, it would appear that Labour’s budget, passed with Liberal Democrat support but opposed by the Conservatives, has done exactly that!
Conservative Councillor Ron Shepherd, who chairs NELC’s Homelessness Working Group, has received the following written information from a Council officer:
“Following approval of the budget at Full Council last week, I have to reduce the Home Options/Housing Related Support budget in 2019/20 by £300,000. Following your work with the working group, I just wanted to make you aware of the affect that this may have on our support services and outcomes for rough sleepers:
As I mentioned in our last meeting, we currently have contracts with the Salvation Army, YMCA, Doorstep, Women’s Aid and L&H Homes to provide supported accommodation and/or floating housing support to relieve and prevent homelessness in the Borough. The current contracts amount to £2,321,278 per annum – so a £300k reduction is around 13% of the contracts as a whole.
I will be working with providers to make this reduction as painless as possible, but it will reduce the amount of support hours that are available to vulnerable clients and may result in, for example, the hostels being reluctant to take higher/complex needs clients who require more resources. Alternatively, we may also have to cease the funding of one outreach worker at Harbour Place or the CareLink service we provide for 500+ vulnerable older people – we will need to assess the potential risks of withdrawing services to the various groups.
I’ll keep you posted, but wanted to give you a ‘heads up’ in case you receive representations from any of the people you talked to during your working group research.”
“This just goes to show the bare-faced hypocrisy of North east Lincolnshire Council’s current Labour administration!” said Conservative Opposition Group Leader Cllr Philip Jackson.