Leader calls for rethink on homeless support funding

Monday, 3 June 2019

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Steve Siddons, wants North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive to reverse its decision on the amount of funding it is making available to support the homeless.

His call comes after he felt obliged to take a decision last Friday to agree to a new collaboration agreement with the county council and the six other district councils in North Yorkshire to provide an in-house support service for homeless and vulnerable people, which came about as a result of county council’s decision to cut the funding it provides to the current external service provider, Horton Housing, by 44%.

Cllr Steve Siddons said:

"Government austerity measures continue to impact on society’s most vulnerable. The borough’s poorest are being let down once again by one of the richest counties in the country. I call on all the borough’s county councillors to insist their Executive reverses what amounts to an almost halving of funding support for the homeless. The decision I had to take was necessary as without it we could lose all funding for the homeless from the county. We are being backed into a corner by them and the requirements of the TUPE legislation.

"My predecessor, Cllr Bastiman, has already spoken out against this and I look forward to continuing that work with him alongside me."

The new district council led collaboration agreement, is an attempt to make the best out of a difficult situation and get some control over the residual funding available and the direction of the service provided. District council officers previously rejected two alternative service models presented by North Yorkshire County Council on the basis that one would not have provided the bespoke and targeted support required and the other would have left the future of the service uncertain.

Picture of Leader of the Council, Councillor Steve Siddons