Local welfare provision - 27th May 2015

We’ve kept the safety net (for now and in part) - but what next for Local Welfare provision?

The Government has recently announced an allocation of “an additional £74 million to upper-tier authorities, to assist them dealing with pressures on local welfare and health and social care” for 2015-16.” Whilst very welcome (and secured in large part because of the work done by the Keep The Safety Net Campaign) work needs to continue to ensure that local welfare schemes are making the most of the totality of resources available to them, that good practice, innovation and learning are shared across schemes and different stakeholders, and that evidence is collected to make the case for maintaining direct funding of local welfare provision.

This joint ACO and London Funders event provided an opportunity for delegates to:

  • Hear from different local authorities why they decided to maintain their local schemes and how they see them developing over the next year;
  • Reflect on the learning from the first year of local welfare schemes and on the emerging best practice and debate how this can be shared and made available to local authorities and others;
  • Celebrate the success of the Keep The Safety Net Campaign, and consider strategies and tactics that could be employed to build on the campaign and ensure that there is growing body of evidence available to make the case for maintaining direct funding of local welfare provision.

We heard from the following speakers: 

Julie Turner, Head of Revenues, Benefits, Insurance and Pensions, London Borough of Sutton
The approach taken by London Borough of Sutton so far, how they have responded to change and what the future thinking might be.
Presentation available here

Helen Middleton, Market Development Manager, Furniture Reuse Network
The user picture and how this is changing. Examples of where organisations are working successfully with their local authorities and the challenges encountered where this is not the case.
Presentation available here

Megan Jarvie, London Campaign Co-ordinator, Child Poverty Action Group
The current landscape for funding and guidance: what we would like to see and prospects for the future.
Presentation available here

A full meeting report can be downloaded here.