Search

Camden Council loses £1million to provide food and crisis loans for most vulnerable

PUBLISHED: 08:00 13 January 2014

Councillor Sally Gimson says the cuts to crisis loans are a 'major, major blow' to Camden Council. Picture: Polly Hancock

Councillor Sally Gimson says the cuts to crisis loans are a 'major, major blow' to Camden Council. Picture: Polly Hancock

Archant

Nearly £1million given to Camden Council for the borough’s most vulnerable residents has been withdrawn by the government – prompting fears that many will be left without food and basic provisions.

The grants, known as crisis loans, are a safety net for people struggling with short-term financial difficulties, giving a lifeline to pensioners, single parents and people fleeing domestic violence.

The £856,464 government funding also helps pay for food banks and housing-related support.

The Ham&High understands the council will now be faced with raising £1m out of its own budget in order to continue giving support to an average of 20 people per week who cannot afford to live or seek help elsewhere.

It follows the news that the council must cut £80m from its budget over the next four years after losing half of its central government funding.

This places increased pressure on the council during a period of “unprecedented” financial difficulty said council leader, Cllr Sarah Hayward.

She said: “Everyone who gets help – usually one-off help – is facing some sort of extreme challenge and has nowhere to turn for life’s essentials.

“Food, a rent payment, money to keep the heating and hot water on... the social fund has been a vital safety net for people in desperate need.”

Sally Gimson, Labour councillor for Highgate, said: “We’re going back to a Victorian era where the state doesn’t have a safety net.”

She stressed that the grant was only for people who are “completely desperate” and get into financial trouble “through no fault of their own”.

Vicky Pryce, of the Camden Doorstep project, said support was being “systematically decimated”.

“It is a short-sighted plan, which will prove far more expensive in the long-term as desperate people are denied help,” she said.

“How much more can be taken away from those who have the least and how much more pressure can be placed on local councils who have already had budgets slashed, causing the loss of many support services?”

A Department of Work and Pensions spokesman said crisis loans are being scrapped because they “fail to help those most in need”.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 10:48

A murder investigation has been launched after a 48-year-old man with a fatal stab wound was found on a 189 bus in Marylebone.

Thu, 16:32

Camden children took to the stage today with the cast of hit production STOMP as part of a campaign to encourage exercise across the borough.

Thu, 15:39

The struggle for the marginal parliamentary seat of Hornsey and Wood Green has kicked off – with Labour MP Catherine West and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Dawn Barnes fighting over the key issue of Brexit.

Thu, 15:29

The parliamentary candidate is pleased that ex-MP David Ward has been sacked as a Lib Dem election candidate after accusing “the Jews” of atrocities against the Palestinians.

Thu, 15:01

A new action group urges residents to make their views known on “the most significant re-landscaping of the Golders Green neighbourhood since its creation” – with new houses and shops and the demolition of the Clock Tower War Memorial proposed.

Thu, 12:44

Part of the Northern line between Camden and Edware will be closed while a track is replaced and the overground will also be partially closed.

Thu, 11:50

The suspect exposed himself to two women after asking them for directions to the nearest toilets and started to perform a sex act.

Thu, 10:43

The creperie, which attracts celebrity customers such as Kate Moss and Harry Styles, could close as the owner is being forced to pay back the majority of a £15,000 electricity bill which he believes he could not have run up

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now