Councillor spots unallocated cashpot that could help day care centres facing cuts

A councillor has identified an unallocated pot of cash that could be given to the day care centres which are losing a county council contract.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:34 pm
Cllr Chris Stanbra has spotted in council finance papers an unallocated pot of cash worth 200,000.

A number of day centres for the elderly and organisations that help rough sleepers will lose their funding at the end of March because Northamptonshire County Council has decided not to continue its £1.6m annual social wellbeing contract. The move has caused outcry with users concerned about the lifeline services they receive and many organisations have said they will be forced to reduce what they can offer, with some even saying they may have to close.

But now leader of the Liberal Democrats at Northamptonshire County Council Chris Stanbra has spotted in the latest finance reports an unallocated pot of funds he says should be given to the 12 organisations facing cuts.

The authority’s monthly revenue monitoring report which was presented to the council’s Conservative cabinet on October 8 says there is £200,000 of the public health grant so far unallocated.

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The Autumn Centre in Corby is one of the places affected.

Cllr Stanbra said: “If there is any amount that is unallocated funding and the centres fit the eligibility then public health should at least look at whether this funding could go to the centres that are suffering the cuts.

“It is a large amount of money they are losing and if this money is the difference between them staying open or not then it should be given.

“The cost of not supporting the day centres will cost the council much more in adult social care in the long run.”

The Autumn Centre in Corby is one of the centres affected. It will lose £57,000, which is a quarter of its budget. It already fundraises half of its budget itself and says it is likely prices will have to go up to help pay the bills. Age UK in Northampton has said it may have to close some of the seven day centres it runs across the county because of the contract ending.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The allocation of grant is undertaken using a public health priority and local needs basis and this work is yet to be completed.

“Further information will be made available once this process has been undertaken.”