Help for homeless people aged over 25 is facing a massive cut, under the latest plans being drawn up at Tory-controlled County Hall. Labour says withdrawing help from vulnerable adults will cause human misery – and end up costing taxpayers more money.
The programme at risk is called P4A, standing for pathway of adults. Organisations across the county provide emergency accommodation for homeless people and help them to find places to live, to get training and to deal with drug and alchohol problems.
West Somerset Labour councillor Maureen Smith said:”The P4A provision is part of the wider system for positively managing homelessness in people over 25 to the benefit both the homeless and the wider community. Somerset County Council proposes to cut all its support for this provision which will cause real hardship, and will impact on the other agencies including the NHS and Local Authorities , who will be faced with people in severe need with nowhere to go.
“These cuts are a false economy as it is estimated that , without active management, the cost of homelessness will increase at least fourfold, let alone the increase of distress and risk to public safety. “
Poverty and Deprivation
“The timing could not be worse as, if the construction of Hinkley C power station goes ahead, the pressure on the private rental market in West Somerset, Taunton Deane and Sedgemoor will be huge, to the detriment of those in most need and with the least resources. The likelihood is that poverty and deprivation will be seen on the streets in the shadow of the largest building project ever planned in Western Europe.
“These cuts should be the last thing the County Council should consider. The fact that they are doing so shows the willingness of the Tories to sacrifice those in most need. The homeless do not just disappear at 25 years of age and we must always remember they are potentially our neighbours, family members and friends, but most of all they are fellow members of our communities.”
A spokesperson for the county council said: “No final decisions have been made relating to next year’s budget but talks are currently underway across all of our services as we look to make the necessary savings.The P4A programme faces the same challenges in reducing expenditure as every other service the council provides.”
Councillor Maureen Smith
01643 709478 email@example.com