Final plea for rethink on cuts which Norfolk charities warn will leave young people out in the cold

Tony Ing, chief executive of The Benjamin Foundation.

Tony Ing, chief executive of The Benjamin Foundation. - Credit: Archant

A charity which helps to prevent homelessness has made a final plea to councillors not to go ahead with cuts they say will leave young people out in the cold.

Charities fear Norfolk County Council cuts could lead to more young people becoming homeless. Pic po

Charities fear Norfolk County Council cuts could lead to more young people becoming homeless. Pic posed by model. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk County Council has revived controversial proposals, which had been rejected last year, which would see millions of pounds taken out of the budget which is used to commission housing support.

Slashing the budget by more than a half would affect organisations such as St Martins Housing Trust, YMCA Norfolk and The Benjamin Foundation, which are commissioned to provide accommodation and support services.

Bosses at The Benjamin Foundation, which houses nearly 80 young people in six supported accommodation centres across Norfolk, have urged councillors who meet next week to rethink the recommendation for the cuts made by the adult social care committee.

Members of County Hall's policy and resources committee will discuss the cuts on Monday, ahead of a final decision by the council on February 20,

Tony Ing, chief executive of The Benjamin Foundation, said: 'I respectively urge councillors to reconsider.


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'These cuts, if approved, run the risk of achieving a short term financial gain for the council, but a long-term loss for the county.'

The charity has written to MPs and county councillors setting out their concerns.

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And Mr Ing said: 'Whatever the outcome, we will adapt to deliver the very best services we can for local young people and work with the county council and other relevant organisations to achieve the best possible outcomes for them.

'However, the reality is that the proposed cuts to this funding, if approved, will leave many young people - who already face the sort of challenges that most of us will fortunately never have to know - out in the cold and facing an uncertain future.'

At last month's council meeting where the adult social care committee recommended the cut go ahead, James Bullion, director of adult social care at Norfolk County Council, acknowledged there was a 'trade off' between spending on 'low level' services and using money to target specific services.

He said the council was working with partners to agree spending priorities.

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