Late last week Eric Pickles released a consultation paper that was widely reported as an attempt to prevent local authorities disproportionally cutting funding to vulnerable groups and third sector providers.
Why should Cornwall for example issue an across the board 40% cut when they have had an increase in SP funding was the claimed rationale. In isolation a very good question. Yet in the real world it has a simple answer and is the first in a series of the failures of the Supporting People programme.
The original SP paper issued by central government stated in its opening paragraph that it will create a “secure legal and financial framework” for vulnerable people. It didnt create any such framework and SP is discretionary spend for local authorities and as such councils have little choice but to prioritise mandatory spend aspects such as ‘care.’
It is precisely because SP remains discretionary spend, ie that is has NO legal or financial framework, that councils across the UK will find other ‘priorities’ for their SP funding allocations