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Council cuts 'threaten' support for the homeless

The council says budget cuts will reduce the support it can offer the homeless. Credit: PA

Dumfries and Galloway Council is warning that further cuts to its budget will affect the level of support it can provide to homeless people in the region.

The council will learn how much funding it is likely to receive when the Scottish Government publishes its Local Government Finance Settlement on 15 December.

It's anticipating having to cut millions of pounds from its budget, and is warning that there will be "severe consequences" for the homeless if that is the case.

These cuts will not only affect the homeless, but all of our most vulnerable people.

Every one of our Council’s top priorities address poverty in one way or another and with our funds and resources already stretched to capacity, there is nothing left to give. Our services need to ensure that they are able to respond and adapt to the needs of those experiencing poverty in all its forms.

A report on our Anti-Poverty work will come before Full Council on the same day as the Scottish Government announcement next week. Members will be asked to consider allocating £93,000, from our Anti-Poverty Strategy Fund 2016/17, to alleviate the impact on our customers and partners following the ending of the temporary Scottish Government funding, in September/October this year. This amount will be required in order to sustain current levels of service delivery to the homeless and vulnerable.

We were praised in October last year by the Scottish Government itself for our Homelessness Support, but following subsequent cuts in December of last year we have already had to fundamentally review and refocus our homelessness service to ensure it meets regulatory standards. With new cuts anticipated next week, the results could be devastating. There is only so much we can lose whilst still providing vital help to those in dire need.

– Councillor Tom McAughtrie, Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee