Liverpool's sheltered housing and homeless hostels under threat as council looks to save
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Finance
Liverpool City Council is reviewing funding for two homeless hostels and is also considering withdrawing part-funding for sheltered housing wardens as it looks to make savings of £32m.
The homeless hostels at Geneva Road and Aigburth Drive currently cost £150,000 a year to run.
And cutting the part-funding for sheltered housing wardens - with registered social landlords asked to fund the shortfall - could save £1 million per year.
The local authority is also looking at introducing charges for community alarms at sheltered housing, which would save £449,000 annually.
The council needs to make cuts of £290m from 2011-17, which includes £46 million in 2014/15, £35 million in 2015/16 and £36m in 2016/17.
It has managed to slash £141m in costs over the last two years.
Mayor Joe Anderson said: “This has been a horrendous process in which we have had to make some extremely difficult and hard choices in order to balance the books for the next financial year, but also to prepare for the following year.
“In previous years we have been able to make many of the savings by reducing back office functions, and halving the senior management team.
“We are now at the stage where those options have gone and we are having to prioritise one front line service over another.
“It is really, really tough to be contemplating reducing or withdrawing good services which are a lifeline for people."
Also in the council's sights for savings are four nurseries which are currently subsidised to the tune of £800,000 per year, and the cessation of the council’s role in the Truancy Watch service from 2014/15 to save £132,000.
Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Finance, Councillor Paul Brant, said: “Our government grant is being cut by more than 50 percent over the lifetime of this parliament. There is simply no way that we can possibly make this level of savings without impacting on frontline services.
“We are doing our very best to mitigate the impact and do it as fairly and equitably as possible, but it is simply wrong that people in the poorest city in the country should have to shoulder cuts amounting to £252 per household when the national average is £60.”