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Hampshire County Council to Cut £700,000 from Social Care

June 22, 2022 11:18 PM

The Hampshire County Council cut of £700,000 in charitable grants to social care groups is extremely short-sighted. So says Romsey's County Councillor, Mark Cooper. "The work done by local charities in the field of social care is extremely cost effective. The reduction in funding to the charities will lead to additional costs having to be picked up by other publicly funded bodies such as the NHS and the Hampshire Constabulary".

"To be fair It is not the County Council's fault. We have had 12 years of austerity during which time Central Government has ceased to properly fund local councils. Squeezing another £80 million out of the County's budgets is in addition to the nearly £700 million in Government funding cuts we have already had to bear over the last 10 years or so."

Hampshire has 78 Coun hcc ()cillors. Following the elections in 2021, 55 Tory councillors were elected. "I would have hoped that this number of Councillors would carry some clout with Hampshire's Members of Parliament. Seemingly not. They have done nothing to persuade local MPs to protect Hampshire's budgets. As a result Adult Social care, Homeless services and Children's Services... in other words, all those who are vulnerable in our society, are disproportionately hit by the Tory Government cuts."

A council has agreed to make cuts of almost £700,000 in charitable grants to social care groups.

To balance its budget, Hampshire County Council needs to make savings of £80m by April 2023.

At a meeting on Thursday, the authority agreed to cut £320,000 from social care organisations and £360,000 from non-statutory homeless services.

The authority has already cut £22.6m from children's services and £10.2m off its transport and environment budget.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, executive member for adult services and public health, said: "Nobody wants to make budget cuts but we're left with no choice.

"We have to provide a balanced budget by April 2023, while also fulfilling our obligation to deliver services.

"These measures aren't ones we would like to take but we felt there was no other option."

'Far reaching consequences'

The social care grants are split between neighbourhood care, community support and rural connection services, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reported.

They are dished out to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations across Hampshire.

MHA, a charity that provides services for elderly residents across Hampshire, said: "We are very disappointed.

"This is a decision which will have far-reaching consequences for older people who are supported by our MHA Communities schemes in Hampshire, along with the other affected community groups."

The council said the decision came after a six-week public consultation and scrutiny from the county council's health and social care select committee, comprising of councillors from across the political spectrum.

The authority added it would help charitable organisations find funding from elsewhere.