Search

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

08:00 13 January 2014

Councillor Sally Gimson says the cuts to crisis loans are a

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Nearly £1million given to Camden Council for the borough’s most vulnerable residents has been withdrawn by the government – prompting fears that many will be left without food and basic provisions.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

Yesterday, 14:21
Fitzjohn's headteacher Rob Earrey said he had told the CPS of his holiday. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has apologised to a headteacher after shambolic blunders led to the collapse of a case concerning the theft of £4,600 worth of iPads at a Hampstead primary school.

Yesterday, 17:38
Gok Wan has moved to Bloomsbury

It’s rare someone looks to trade one part of London for another because it’s “too quiet” – but Hampstead may have produced its first.

Yesterday, 14:07
Boz Burbridge was jailed for seven years for conspiracy to commit robbery

Two men from Camden have been jailed for a total of 19 years for their part in a smash-and-grab robbery at a high-end City jewellers.

Yesterday, 11:00
Fiona Dean, assistant director of culture and customer services in Camden, and Cllr Abdul Hai at the meeting to discuss the cuts to the libraries service. Picture: Polly Hancock

West Hampstead Library could move into a controversial proposed eight-storey housing development to prevent it from closing, it has been suggested.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder