Welfare cuts could leave Councils unable to support vulnerable people

food bank mick
Mick Lerry “There is great concern at Government plans to scrap the local Welfare Assistance Fund”

According to the Trussell Trust own figures in 2013 40,159 adults and 20,130 children received emergency food from the food banks in the South West. Recently the Local Government Association warned that the Government scrapping of the Local Welfare Assistance Fund could leave Councils unable to support vulnerable people.

Cllr Mick Lerry’s recent visit to the food bank in Bridgwater found that the number of vulnerable people had increased in the last couple of months, due to individual circumstances, whereby 240 vouchers for food have been issued. The food bank will only issue food for three days, and then the people concerned have to find other means by which they can obtain food, they can only return to the food bank on three occasions”.

Labour would ‘act to help hard pressed families’

Cllr Mick Lerry said: “The Local Government Association is right to warn of the damaging impact of axing this fund on the poorest and most vulnerable. Under this Government hundreds of thousands are being forced to rely on food banks to survive. Labour would act to help hard-pressed families by freezing energy prices, helping more employers to pay the minimum wage and scrapping the Bedroom Tax and zero hours contracts”.

The removal of Government funding will remove the safety net that many people sometimes have to use. Cllr Mick Lerry was informed that the food bank has many clients on zero hours contracts and cannot count on work for the future and are unable to obtain benefit, because they are on a contract and on “stand by” for work when required. Couples are also splitting up, because of financial problems or domestic abuse.

Cllr Mick Lerry also said that “ the staff that he spoke to showed that they were really concerned about the future for individuals and as to whether or not they would obtain suitable premises to continue their support for those adults and children who were at risk”.


Cllr Mick Lerry-Leader of the Labour Group on SDC

Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency

Mobile: 07775905080

Email: michael.lerry@btinternet.com


Find your ward using the SCC ward finder

Privacy Policy

To read our Privacy Policy and GDPR compliance statement click here.