From: Ian Dicks
As a resident of Eastbourne Borough Council, I wanted to bring to readers’ attention an issue that concerns me locally.
Our council (like many others across the country) currently has a small pot of funding that provides a safety net for vulnerable families in financial crisis.
These emergency funds – called Local Welfare Assistance Schemes – are a lifeline to those with nowhere else to turn.
However drastic funding cuts in recent years has put councils under huge financial pressure.
As a result, I’m concerned that in the next round of budget planning, the funding available for this important scheme could be reduced, or cut completely.
This could be disastrous for some of the most vulnerable families and young people in the area.
Research from The Children’s Society shows that on average funding for local welfare provision equates to 0.3% of a council’s total budget.
This feels like a relatively small amount of money for something so vitally important to those most vulnerable.
I do hope our council will commit to protecting our Local Welfare Assistance Scheme to support families and young people in crisis, as well as calling on the Government to properly fund this type of support in the future.