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County cuts to housing support criticised by Adur & Worthing

Released: Friday, 21 December 2018

A decision to approve a two-thirds reduction in more than £6 million of funding for charities to support the vulnerable has been criticised by Adur & Worthing Councils.

The West Sussex County Council housing-related support funding is used to provide accommodation to people of all ages, including young adults at risk of homelessness, families on short-term tenancies and elderly people in need of sheltered support.

West Sussex launched a consultation into the £6.3 million of funding - £1.8 million of which is spent in Adur and Worthing - this autumn with the aim of ensuring the services were “sustainable”.

This week (19th December 2018) Councillor Amanda Jupp, West Sussex County Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, confirmed the funding would be reduced to £2.3 million a year from September 2019.

This is despite district and borough councils across West Sussex calling for a postponement of any reductions in budgets until 2020/21 to give time for councillors, providers and service users to agree a way forward.

A joint statement issued by Neil Parkin, Leader of Adur District Council, and Dan Humphreys, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said:

“We recognise the huge impact that the services currently provided by this housing-related support budget have on our communities. This is why we have been working hard with county colleagues along with district and borough representatives to find an agreeable way forward.”

“Unfortunately our suggestion to postpone any reductions so that a joint county-wide approach could be adopted has not been heeded.”

“There is no hiding that these reductions will reduce front-line support for the vulnerable and impact a range of third sector providers in our communities. Even the police have warned it has the risk of making West Sussex less safe.”

“We believe these reductions will end up costing far more in the long run. It will also result in the worse possible Christmas present for our valued third sector providers and the individuals they support.”

“Moving forward, we will continue to do everything we can to support vulnerable people with housing across our area. We will monitor the impact of these reductions carefully so that our already-stretched resources continue to support those most in need across our communities.”

(PR18-230)

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