Fresh hope for services facing funding cuts

The Foyer, Newhaven. SUS-151029-000015008
The Foyer, Newhaven. SUS-151029-000015008

A number of local services for vulnerable people and those with learning disabilities have been given a fresh wave of hope after East Sussex County Council’s Cabinet recommended the council doesn’t remove parts of the social care funding.

Last October, the county council announced savings of £70 million and £90 million will have to be made by March 2019, including cuts of £40 million to adult social care spending.

This put the future of a number of local services under threat, as some faced having their funding removed completely.

However, at a meeting on Tuesday, January 26, the East Sussex County Council Cabinet recommended the funding is not removed for Newhaven Foyer, Hailsham Foyer and Grove House, all of which provides support for young people with complex needs, young mothers, those at risk of domestic violence and those with special educational needs or disabilities.

Those services, along with others in Eastbourne and Hastings, had previously faced a 50 per cent cut in funding, which would have saved the council around £380,000.

SAHA, a service in Lewes that provides specialist housing support and a pathway to independent living for vulnerable young mothers aged 16 to 25, was facing funding cuts of 24 per cent. The cabinet also recommended not proceeding with this saving proposal.

While the final decision will not be made until a budget meeting of the full council on the February 9, Maria Caulfield MP has welcomed the cabinet’s recommendation.

She said: “I have worked hard to persuade the county council not to end funding for this facility and I am pleased my representations and those of others have been heard by the county’s cabinet.

“I visited the Foyer some time ago and the work that is done at the facility is outstanding.”

The county’s cabinet has made the recommendations based on the fact additional funding has come from the 1.99 per cent increase in council tax, agreed for local authorities which, like county councils, have social care responsibilities.

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