Homelessness will increase because of council cuts says CAB chief executive

Malvern Gazette: (3752564) (3752564)

HOMELESSNESS will increase in Worcester because of controversial cuts says a charity chief executive.

Martyn Saunders, chief executive of Worcester Citizens Advice Bureau and Worcester Housing and Benefits Advice Centre (CAB and WHABAC), is worried about the future of the county's most vulnerable people if proposed cuts go through.

CAB/WHABAC stand to lose three Worcestershire County Council contracts worth £230,000 by the beginning of the financial year in April because of "Future Lives", a review of services by the county council as they seek to claw back £98 million by 2017. The supporting people budget would be slashed from £15 million a year to £6.5 million a year, affecting services on issues like older people, learning disabilities, domestic abuse, offender services and homelessness. For CAB/WHABAC it would entail the loss of contracts which would affect housing related support for substance misusers and offenders across Worcestershire and families at risk of homelessness in Worcester itself. The loss of the contracts will mean 10 housing support workers losing their jobs with CAB/WHABAC (of the 47 in total employed by the charity).

Mr Sauders said of the impact on clients: "This is likely to lead to increased homelessness. That is one of our main worries and our prime concerns. This is cutting services to the most vulnerable but also taking away other services they would be likely to turn to for health and advice. At a time of increasing demand there will be a reduced service. I think this is an essential service to help prevent homelessness and homelessness will increase if this goes through.

"They are all vulnerable people. All our substance misusers will be engaging with treatment agencies. Because they have stable accommodation they are more likely to comply with their treatment." He said figures supplied by the Ministry of Justice said 60 per cent of prisoners believed that having a place to live was important in stopping them reoffending. Offenders can be helped by CAB/WHABAC who can provide a deposit guarantee (bond) and even lease some properties themselves. Help is now provided with their budgeting so they pay their rent on time and are able not only to gain housing but stay in it.

He said CAB/WHABAC had a county wide contract to partnership with other CABs and two disability information advice lines which he understood would end this September. He said: "Where are people going to turn if services like CAB are cut?"

A meeting of offenders on January 15 at CAB/WHABAC which revealed the level of concern over the potential loss of services Mr Saunders said.

Figures from the CAB/WHABAC show that 886 people across the county approached them because they were either homeless or at risk of becoming so in 2012/13. They helped 213 people into private rented accommodation tenancies that year. They helped in total 27,053 clients in 2012/13 although they estimate this helped 50,000 people if you factor in their families, partners and dependants.

The three cabinet members from the county council will be meeting to discuss the report at a closed meeting on February 12. This report will be made public five working days prior to the meeting on February 4. Cllr Sheila Blagg, cabinet member for adult social car,e will make the final decision, which will be published on councils website within three working days of the final decision being made.

Cllr Blagg said: "Future lives is the council's strategy to reform adult social care in light of peoples changing needs and new legislation. We have recently been to consultation on prevention and early help services and have received a really good response. Cabinet members will now take all the responses into consideration when making the decision on February. 12"

Comments (9)

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9:24pm Fri 31 Jan 14

worcester92 says...

There is considerable and widespread concern about these cuts and about the cuts to much needed services provided by the voluntary sector. However the voluntary sector is not well served by incorrect statistics being provided.

"They helped in total 27,053 clients in 2012/13 although they estimate this helped 50,000 people if you factor in their families, partners and dependants (sic)." (Dependents)

The published accounts for Worcester CAB & WHABAC for 2012-13 state on page 4 that "around 8,300 individuals have benefited from our services, if we include dependents and partners, this figure rises to over 17,000 people."

It is unclear how this figure of around 8,300 has become inflated to 27,053.

8,300 equates to just under 32 new clients a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The accounts indicate there are the equivalent of around 30 full time staff and just over 12 full time volunteers. Not all staff are engaged in client work. But say 32 full time advisers working 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year without holiday. Even at 8,300, this implies each full time adviser helps on average one new client every day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

In reality how many of these 8,300 individuals were told the Bureau did not in fact have the resources (funding/advisers/ex
perience) to be able to assist them and turned away?

Accurate figures of how many people the Bureau have been unable to help together with a breakdown of the reasons why would be of far greater assistance to the campaign for improved funding than inflated figures of how many people have been helped.
There is considerable and widespread concern about these cuts and about the cuts to much needed services provided by the voluntary sector. However the voluntary sector is not well served by incorrect statistics being provided. "They helped in total 27,053 clients in 2012/13 although they estimate this helped 50,000 people if you factor in their families, partners and dependants (sic)." (Dependents) The published accounts for Worcester CAB & WHABAC for 2012-13 state on page 4 that "around 8,300 individuals have benefited from our services, if we include dependents and partners, this figure rises to over 17,000 people." It is unclear how this figure of around 8,300 has become inflated to 27,053. 8,300 equates to just under 32 new clients a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. The accounts indicate there are the equivalent of around 30 full time staff and just over 12 full time volunteers. Not all staff are engaged in client work. But say 32 full time advisers working 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year without holiday. Even at 8,300, this implies each full time adviser helps on average one new client every day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. In reality how many of these 8,300 individuals were told the Bureau did not in fact have the resources (funding/advisers/ex perience) to be able to assist them and turned away? Accurate figures of how many people the Bureau have been unable to help together with a breakdown of the reasons why would be of far greater assistance to the campaign for improved funding than inflated figures of how many people have been helped. worcester92

1:28am Sat 1 Feb 14

Jabbadad says...

THESE ARE AGAIN TORY CUTS. And can we trust the findings or interpretaions of this Futture Lives consultation of the 3 Tory Cabinet members behind the closed Doors Private meeting?
I have attended most of these public consultations and NO ONE has registered Support for these cuts, NO ONE. So if these 3 cabinet members come out saying that they have a majority support for these cuts THEY MUST BE CHALLENGED.
What can TORY VOTERS be thinking about this Government or it's Councillors they have voted for? IT'S TIME YOU SPOKE OUT.
This is no longer about benefit scroungers, the majority are NOT LIKE THE Ch 4 TV DOCUMENTRY BENEFITS STREET, which this government must be happy about, this is about the most vulnerable in Society Our Eldery, Your Parents or Grand parents or old Aunts, Uncles who have to rely on little bits of help, and which are being taken away by these Politicians.
And what now seems to be a New, New Labour, at Worcester City council are also stopping Council Tax releif to those who live alone and desperately need it.
So it's obvious that we old people are a problem and so the political answer must be to take away our ability to exist. OR FINANCIAL EUTHANASIA.
IT'S A DISGRACE, and politicians cannot sink any lower CAN THEY?
THESE ARE AGAIN TORY CUTS. And can we trust the findings or interpretaions of this Futture Lives consultation of the 3 Tory Cabinet members behind the closed Doors Private meeting? I have attended most of these public consultations and NO ONE has registered Support for these cuts, NO ONE. So if these 3 cabinet members come out saying that they have a majority support for these cuts THEY MUST BE CHALLENGED. What can TORY VOTERS be thinking about this Government or it's Councillors they have voted for? IT'S TIME YOU SPOKE OUT. This is no longer about benefit scroungers, the majority are NOT LIKE THE Ch 4 TV DOCUMENTRY BENEFITS STREET, which this government must be happy about, this is about the most vulnerable in Society Our Eldery, Your Parents or Grand parents or old Aunts, Uncles who have to rely on little bits of help, and which are being taken away by these Politicians. And what now seems to be a New, New Labour, at Worcester City council are also stopping Council Tax releif to those who live alone and desperately need it. So it's obvious that we old people are a problem and so the political answer must be to take away our ability to exist. OR FINANCIAL EUTHANASIA. IT'S A DISGRACE, and politicians cannot sink any lower CAN THEY? Jabbadad

8:54am Sat 1 Feb 14

Mrfade says...

So don't increase spending by £6 million per annum, on an incinerator we don't need, stop paying the waste contractor their £6 million recycling supplement pa, tell them we want t about £26 back per tonne for recycling like other councils get ( clean plastic actually fetches £450 per tonne) As reported on the One Show this week. Just £26 for our 70,000 of recycling tpa is another couple of million. So far if your with me we could have saved £14 million. Instead we pay the contractor to take our recycling, and then they sell it and get paid again.
In addition to this 68% of the waste is organic and can be treated for a third of the cost of burning. I think that would come to over £20 million per annum of savings, over 35 years that's the £100,M of your cuts you wouldn't need to make.
So don't increase spending by £6 million per annum, on an incinerator we don't need, stop paying the waste contractor their £6 million recycling supplement pa, tell them we want t about £26 back per tonne for recycling like other councils get ( clean plastic actually fetches £450 per tonne) As reported on the One Show this week. Just £26 for our 70,000 of recycling tpa is another couple of million. So far if your with me we could have saved £14 million. Instead we pay the contractor to take our recycling, and then they sell it and get paid again. In addition to this 68% of the waste is organic and can be treated for a third of the cost of burning. I think that would come to over £20 million per annum of savings, over 35 years that's the £100,M of your cuts you wouldn't need to make. Mrfade

9:00am Sat 1 Feb 14

Mrfade says...

So why are all three main parties unable to see the wood for the trees?
Lets not forget, with the exception of Cllr Paul Denham, the so called Labour opposition group voted to a man and woman to support this increase, whilst slashing £120 million from essential services. And the 3 Lib Dems followed like lemmings off a cliff! perhaps they are all the same party really, behind closed doors. Do they care about the cuts, well it doesn't look like it from here. The homeless, well they haven't got a vote have they? So they can't make anyone lose their seat.
Only 11 councillors stood up for the county and voted against burning for £1.6 billion. Because they obviously read the information sent to understand the other side of the story. WCC cannot demonstrate how this would save them £400 million. Clearly they want value for money and grasp the economics, and care about the vulnerable. They were the 2 Green county councillors Matt Jenkins and Professor John Raine, UKIP Martin Jenkins, he knows we are talking sense as he lives near the border with Warwickshire and sees that their food waste collection and recycling works like a dream, and pays them knot he other way round..
Independent Cllr Rachel Jenkins ,Leader of the independents alliance Jim Parish and the rest of the independents, plus 1 Liberal.( not democrat)
If you want people representing you who care and understand economics don't vote for the main parties. Elections loom!
So why are all three main parties unable to see the wood for the trees? Lets not forget, with the exception of Cllr Paul Denham, the so called Labour opposition group voted to a man and woman to support this increase, whilst slashing £120 million from essential services. And the 3 Lib Dems followed like lemmings off a cliff! perhaps they are all the same party really, behind closed doors. Do they care about the cuts, well it doesn't look like it from here. The homeless, well they haven't got a vote have they? So they can't make anyone lose their seat. Only 11 councillors stood up for the county and voted against burning for £1.6 billion. Because they obviously read the information sent to understand the other side of the story. WCC cannot demonstrate how this would save them £400 million. Clearly they want value for money and grasp the economics, and care about the vulnerable. They were the 2 Green county councillors Matt Jenkins and Professor John Raine, UKIP Martin Jenkins, he knows we are talking sense as he lives near the border with Warwickshire and sees that their food waste collection and recycling works like a dream, and pays them knot he other way round.. Independent Cllr Rachel Jenkins ,Leader of the independents alliance Jim Parish and the rest of the independents, plus 1 Liberal.( not democrat) If you want people representing you who care and understand economics don't vote for the main parties. Elections loom! Mrfade

9:20am Sat 1 Feb 14

Mrfade says...

Correction that is a potential saving of £20 M per annum over 35 years , not £20 million over 35 years.
Correction that is a potential saving of £20 M per annum over 35 years , not £20 million over 35 years. Mrfade

8:44am Sun 2 Feb 14

green49 says...

Jabbadad is right 100% NO ONE supports these cuts only the Tories and as i said before many times its already been decided behind closed doors so JUDICIAL REVIEW i hope so, name and shame the 3 yes 3 councillors who have decided this and Mr Hardman should be made to resign as whats going on is not legal and even his own council legal people are not happy about it.

As reguards the incinerater where can we put all the rubbish that cannot be recycled??? should we turn Throckmorton hills into mountains,? burning the waste and making energy is the way to go otherwise any valley or dip in the landscape will be filled up,
Jabbadad is right 100% NO ONE supports these cuts only the Tories and as i said before many times its already been decided behind closed doors so JUDICIAL REVIEW i hope so, name and shame the 3 yes 3 councillors who have decided this and Mr Hardman should be made to resign as whats going on is not legal and even his own council legal people are not happy about it. As reguards the incinerater where can we put all the rubbish that cannot be recycled??? should we turn Throckmorton hills into mountains,? burning the waste and making energy is the way to go otherwise any valley or dip in the landscape will be filled up, green49

1:49pm Sun 2 Feb 14

worcester92 says...

The Future Lives consultation document repeatedly uses the phrase: "there is limited evidence ....." Indeed it used in relation to 16 of the 30 funded services.

Of those 30 funded services currently costing just over £15 million, 11 are being cut altogether, 1 is being phased out altogether, 10 are facing substantial cuts of between 50% and 70%, 1 is being cut by 30% and only 7 are continuing without any cuts

Is the Council really saying that it has been funding all these services without, in most cases, limited evidence of effectiveness? A more honest reason "why this is proposed" would be simply that the Council believes it has to substantially cut its expenditure and the social care budget is an appropriate place to make cuts of over 50% in total from £15,030,700 to £6,502,500.

There has been no consultation on the decision to make this massive cut. Instead the consultation was restricted to how the £6.5 million should be divided between the existing services being cut.
The Future Lives consultation document repeatedly uses the phrase: "there is limited evidence ....." Indeed it used in relation to 16 of the 30 funded services. Of those 30 funded services currently costing just over £15 million, 11 are being cut altogether, 1 is being phased out altogether, 10 are facing substantial cuts of between 50% and 70%, 1 is being cut by 30% and only 7 are continuing without any cuts Is the Council really saying that it has been funding all these services without, in most cases, limited evidence of effectiveness? A more honest reason "why this is proposed" would be simply that the Council believes it has to substantially cut its expenditure and the social care budget is an appropriate place to make cuts of over 50% in total from £15,030,700 to £6,502,500. There has been no consultation on the decision to make this massive cut. Instead the consultation was restricted to how the £6.5 million should be divided between the existing services being cut. worcester92

2:00pm Sun 2 Feb 14

worcester92 says...

What is disappointing is that, so far as I can recall there is no reference to these funding cuts on either the CAB/WHABAC website or its facebook page.

The website continues to refer to the CAB 2011 annual report and does not provide anything more recent. It is managing a Lottery grant of over £400,000 in relation to the promotion of community champions but still has no reference to this on its website despite the need to recruit community champions.

It would help if Martyn Saunders could publish on the CAB website a copy of his response to the consultation and full evidence of the effectiveness of the service operated by CAB/WHABAC funded by Worcestershire County Council. This would help refute the Council's argument of "limited evidence".

In contrast Herefordshire CAB ran a very successful campaign against funding cuts as can be seen from its website and Facebook page.
What is disappointing is that, so far as I can recall there is no reference to these funding cuts on either the CAB/WHABAC website or its facebook page. The website continues to refer to the CAB 2011 annual report and does not provide anything more recent. It is managing a Lottery grant of over £400,000 in relation to the promotion of community champions but still has no reference to this on its website despite the need to recruit community champions. It would help if Martyn Saunders could publish on the CAB website a copy of his response to the consultation and full evidence of the effectiveness of the service operated by CAB/WHABAC funded by Worcestershire County Council. This would help refute the Council's argument of "limited evidence". In contrast Herefordshire CAB ran a very successful campaign against funding cuts as can be seen from its website and Facebook page. worcester92

2:03pm Sun 2 Feb 14

worcester92 says...

"Is the Council really saying that it has been funding all these services without, in most cases, limited evidence of effectiveness?"

Apologies. That should read:

"Is the Council really saying that it has been funding all these services without, in most cases, any real evidence of effectiveness?"
"Is the Council really saying that it has been funding all these services without, in most cases, limited evidence of effectiveness?" Apologies. That should read: "Is the Council really saying that it has been funding all these services without, in most cases, any real evidence of effectiveness?" worcester92

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