‘A cut too far’ - £1m crisis fund scrapped

Coun Pat Garbutt
Coun Pat Garbutt

A £1m hardship fund which provides emergency help for some of the most vulnerable households is to be scrapped.

The government plans to cut Wakefield Council’s entire budget for Local Welfare Provision, which helps victims of domestic violence, ill-health and flooding, from 2015.

There are fears that vulnerable households will be forced to turn to loan sharks and charities to feed themselves in times of crisis.

Pat Garbutt, the council’s cabinet member for adults and health, said: “The government is already imposing millions of pounds of cuts on the council during the next few years.

“We are now told that almost a million pounds for this vital fund for the poorest and most vulnerable will be cut from 2015.”

The council’s annual funding allocation for the emergency cash is £943. Decisions on future funding for the scheme were being reviewed.

Coun Garbutt added: “We are committed to doing our best to support local people through tough times but this is a cut too far and we share the views of many other local authorities that the government should think again and keep a specific fund for those in crisis.”

People can apply to the Local Welfare Provision service by calling 01924 305266 Monday to Thursday, 9am-5pm, and Friday from 9am-4.30pm.