We wrote in this post about the PUBLIC CONSULTATION currently underway on Birmingham City Council’s proposed cuts to its Supporting People and Third Sector Grant Programmes. This would see cuts of £5m this year, rising to £10m in 2018/9. These reductions come on top of previous cuts that have already seen the budget for services for vulnerable adults fall from £50m to £26m.
A dozen of the most prominently involved charities have today written an OPEN LETTER to Prime Minister Theresa May, asking for an urgent meeting to consider Birmingham’s grave situation. The services concerned, they say, are precisely those that help address the ‘everyday injustices’ Mrs May pledged her government would take action on in a speech at the Charity Commission on the 9th January.
Their letter highlights the tragedy of rough sleeper Chiriac Inout who died outside a car park in John Bright Street in the city centre on the 30th November last, the coldest night of 2016.
The charities concerned fear that around £144m a year that they lever in to support these services will also be lost. About half of current providers say that within two years they may close down. Their letter refers to a “sea change” in the provision of services for the most vulnerable.
In an accompanying PRESS RELEASE, Brian Carr, chief executive of Birmingham Voluntary Service Council says: “Birmingham City Council is faced with an almost impossible task, trying to balance the budget in the face of massive central government cuts and sharply rising social need. But our job is to support and speak out for the most vulnerable in society, and these cuts will hit them hardest. We’re not exaggerating when we say lives are at risk.”