£300k cut to housing support stopped after Warwickshire County Council vote

The money will instead come from the council's reserves
The money will instead come from the council's reserves

A £300,000 cut to housing support services has been stopped after county councillors voted to find the cash from their own reserves instead.

Warwickshire County Council cabinet this year voted to cut £3.725m from the Housing Related Support budget by 2018.

But a £300,000 chunk intended to be taken from the pot before April will instead come from the council’s reserves after the decision was called in by members.

Cllr Maggie O’Rourke (Labour, Rugby), who is leader of the overview and scrutiny committee which proposed the change, said: “There was a lot of concern around this with social care and vulnerability.

“These changes will affect hundreds and hundreds of vulnerable people across Warwickshire and we did not feel that we had this right.

“This is not about money, it is about us looking after people and considering the importance of everything we do.”

Members raised concerns about future costs when the cuts of up to 75 per cent of funds for homeless, gypsy and travellers, young offenders and people with mental health issues are cut.

Deputy council leader, Cllr Alan Cockburn (Conservative, Ken), described it as an “emotional debate” but said the plans had gone through one of the council’s biggest consultations.

And £1.828m is still planned to be cut from the HRS budget by 2018.

He said: “We are halfway through a seven year reduction of the budget and reserves are there to smooth out the peaks and troughs, not to fund projects.

“We cannot spend this money every year.”