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Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services (£50,000)

Future Funds

Portfolio: Adult Social Care and Housing Portfolio,Health and Partnerships Portfolio

We have previously funded advice and financial advice in children’s centres, at Age UK for over 50s and in the CAB.  The proposal is to reduce the funding but to maintain one universal and accessible provider.  The funding given will be linked to a number of performance indicators that support residents to maintain their home, avoid legal actions.  This amount may be added to the crisis support funding to form a single contract specification.

[Reference: Cabinet papers, Item 6, paragraph 52(k)]

 


 

Keywords: voluntary sector VCS

Related FAQs

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

We fully support the work of our voluntary sector partners and hope to continue to work with them in the future. However, the financial situation is such that the Council is not able to continue funding these organisations at current levels. The likely impact of the budget proposals on these organisations is currently being identified, following discussions with the organisations most affected. We hope that they are able to continue their work by looking at where they can make further cost and efficiency savings, but we appreciate that in some cases this may not be possible and it will therefore mean a reduction in the support they can offer to the residents of Darlington.  It could lead to the closure of organisations if they are unable to make the necessary changes for them to be sustainable, which will be very regrettable. We want to avoid this happening and we will support organisations making grant applications where we can. We will also be undertaking work to understand the impact of any reductions in service on individuals accessing them. 

Your Say

7 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal

Comment

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)

I think the crisis fund and money management go well together as should not be able to access crisis funds without having to look at money management and debts. Work of this nature is a significant part of what housing related support services do. This money needs to support a high number of people and to do this needs to focus more on maximising income, addressing low level debts and day to day money management to avoid getting to the stage of needing specialist high level advice which is needed by smaller numbers of people.

FF 52b (A Remodelled Dolphin Centre including the Central Library)
FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Core EffR5 (Members Allowances)
Cut W03 (Library Service Mobile Library)

I find it incredible that proposals to close libraries and withdraw support from citizens advice bureau whilst councillors continue to take £645000 from council taxes to pay their
Allowances.It is time that they stand up and be counted by waiving all or part of their allowances or resign to allow people who will act in a more responsible way. Could
sponsors be found to keep the mobile library going eg for the fuel repairs etc.

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

Letter from Citizens Advice about budget proposals

Documents


FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut Hu01 (Childrens Centres, Early Help and intervention - Specialist Family Support)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: I deliver advice services to two children’s centres in Darlington. If you move the centre into the town, a lot of vulnerable clients will not be able to get to it. We deal with everything, I do not know what’s going to come through the door. We have a lot of ladies with disabled children and we help them claim benefits, which is a minefield in itself. What is the council going to do for vulnerable clients in Darlington?

A: (Cllr Dixon) In terms of advice and support for young people, a lot of these young people have not just statutory needs but incredibly complex needs. We have enough money to deal with the statutory elements of this budget and that’s about all and that’s the tragedy. I think that’s shocking in the fifth or sixth richest country in the world, but we have to live within these means.

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
FF 53r (Voluntary Sector Development Fund)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of comments made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: The current value of homeless prevention work the CAB do is mitigating the local authority’s statutory duty to house, which left unsupported would result in the local authority spending more than £3m. Has the council made provision for the extra cost of this?

A (Cllr Copeland): The CAB offers excellent advice and support, Age UK offers excellent advice and support. We have our own housing options staff within the council and also have our own welfare officers, who assist in making sure people get the right allowances they are entitled to. I appreciate it’s going to be a reduced service. I have the largest part of the council’s budget [in my portfolio], although most of my statutory, I still have to put something in the pot to assist, otherwise we will just wipe out Street Scene altogether and do nothing in parks etc. But, if that’s what you would like, then that’s the suggestion you make – that we save whatever happens in the way of advice to CAB and we stop doing something else. If you want us to keep something, then we have got to let something else go.
A (Cllr Scott): We completely understand the concerns about the impact on the voluntary sector. We’ve got some proposals, some add-backs, because we recognise the value of that sector. One of those is the voluntary sector development fund, where we’ve put aside £100k to develop some of the things like back office and sharing functions between organisations.

Q: I do not want you to stop paying into something to help something else. Why not just reduce things a little and put some of it into CAB?
A (Cllr Dixon): That’s what this exercise is about. We’ve got the Core Offer and we’re trying to find out what we can do as far as the add-backs are concerned.

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: Would the Council be prepared to facilitate some kind of coming together of these advice services under one umbrella in order to keep these services in the town, rather than lose them?
A: That's an excellent suggestion. Just as we have been told by Central Government that we have to look at our back offices and we work together with Stockton Borough Council on payroll, HR and other areas. Why doesn’t the voluntary sector look at that suggestion and perhaps get their back offices together? That would reduce their overheads, so I think that’s an excellent suggestion and they do need to talk to each other because some of them are working in similar areas.

FF 52k (Financial and debt advice and welfare rights services)
Cut S14 (Strategic Grant Budget)

This is a transcription of a comment made during the public meetings held during the budget consultation:

Q: What’s the situation with CAB?

A: No proposals in particular. CAB receives a strategic grant which under the proposals will end but that is only one part of their funding and we want to see what that means. We are proposing to put £50k back into welfare advice, I can’t say CAB will get that but it will be discussed.