Statement on Staffordshire Council Support Cuts
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Following Staffordshire County Council's announcement that they will be cutting £6m from their £11m supporting people budget, which provides vital help and support to the most vulnerable across the region, Bromford has responded with the following statement.
The announcement comes only 5 months in to a new 2-year support contract between Bromford and the Council, which saw an additional 19 new colleagues recruited and trained by the social enterprise, plus an additional 12 colleagues who transferred from other providers, to support Staffordshire residents.
John Wade, Director of Support, Bromford
It is extremely disappointing to see that Staffordshire County Council are making sweeping cuts to the funding for support services that work with many of the County’s most vulnerable people. Bromford’s funding has been slashed by 70% (more than £1.5m), putting hundreds of lives at risk of social exclusion and forcing them into a downward spiral.
Bromford is seeing a number of contracts cut, with very serious implications for both our customers and our colleagues. Whilst we acknowledge the difficult financial climate faced by local authorities, what’s most shocking to us is that the services we’re already providing to Staffordshire Council, such as working with ‘Socially Excluded Groups’, do exactly what Cllr White says the county needs. We already use a joined up approach and our business is widely noted for its effectiveness at preventing individuals falling into long-term dependency.
Not only will many of our 1,300 customers see their support ended or dramatically reduced; we also have to support the 84 colleagues who have been told that their jobs are at risk. Teams across Bromford are working hard to find ways that those affected can be deployed into other roles, and we hope to keep the number of any redundancies to a minimum. But ultimately, being forced to lose valuable colleagues is a huge concern for us.
As a social enterprise, we seek to help every customer be the very best they can be, no matter what challenges they might face in their lives. From financial advice to employment support, it’s about building on people’s strengths and helping develop their resilience and independence. Our services prevent admission to more expensive acute services such as hospital, care homes or prisons. Our support costs the council £30 a week per customer. By preventing one adult from going into a care home we save the council £1,000 a week; one child not being taken into care saves £3,000 a week; one eviction prevented saves £18,000 a year in homeless accommodation.
We believe the actions of the county council are short sighted. They may make a short-term financial saving, but they will be storing up much bigger costs for the future. At the same time the lives of many of the most vulnerable members of our community will be left unsupported and at risk.