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Government urged to 'save the safety net' for vulnerable people

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Government urged to 'save the safety net' for vulnerable people

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Central Government, Communities, Finance

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Islington Council is urging the government to keep a 'safety net' which helps some of the borough's most vulnerable residents.

The local welfare provision fund (LWPF) pays for small items such as furniture, carpeting or kitchen items for locals in need, including homeless people and victims of domestic abuse.

But the Tory-led coalition has announced that it will abolish the fund from April 2015, which would mean a loss of £1.2 million funding for Islington, and £347m nationally.

In the past year, the council has distributed all of the borough's allocation through its resident support scheme, which is jointly run with local charity the Cripplegate Foundation.

This week the local authority unanimously agreed a motion expressing alarm that the fund is to be scrapped, and called for a government rethink.

Council leader cllr Richard Watts will now write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government urging them not to pull the "vital safety net" away.

Cllr Andy Hull, who proposed the motion, said: "The local welfare provision fund is a crucial safety net for local people in serious need.

"Cutting the fund will make life harder for those who are already in most need, including disabled people, people leaving care, and homeless families.

"We urge the government to think again about removing this safety net for some of Islington's most vulnerable residents, many of whom are already struggling with the impact of other Government cuts to social security."

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