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08 October 2013

CHC welcomes Supporting People announcement

Community Housing Cymru (CHC) has welcomed the announcement ahead of today’s budget that the Supporting People Programme (SPP) will see continued investment of £134.4m in 2014/15 – a 1.5% reduction from last year. The investment has been addressed by a £5.5m mitigation against planned cuts.

As Welsh Ministers prepared to make difficult decisions on revenue, CHC and partner organisations urged them to do all they could to protect the budget of preventative services, such as the Supporting People Programme, which offer vital help and support to thousands of people across Wales.

We called on Assembly Members to use their political power and influence to help protect these vital services and emphasised that cuts to the SPP would have knock-on financial consequences for the NHS and Social Service budgets.

We wrote to all AMs asking them to support the cross-party Statement of Opinion tabled by Lynne Neagle and supported by Peter Black, Mark Isherwood and Bethan Jenkins on protecting the Supporting People budget.

Working with Gofal Cymru, Cymorth Cymru, Care & Repair, CIH Cymru, The Wallich, and Disability Wales, we wrote an open letter to the press urging AMs to support the Statement of Opinion. This letter appeared in the Western Mail as the lead letter last Thursday.

We also provided you with a template letter, urging you to contact your local AM to highlight the preventative agenda locally.

We feel that our work on your behalf resulted in Welsh Government responding to our calls to invest in preventative support. Their budget decision acknowledges that the services provided are invaluable and, in the long run, actually save the NHS and Social Services money.

The latest edition of Cartref also features numerous articles on why we must protect preventative services.

Commenting on the news, CHC’s Nick Bennett said: “With the National Assembly facing some of the toughest budget decisions in its history, CHC called on Assembly Members to use their political power and influence to help protect vital services, and they listened to us. The Supporting People Programme helps 56,000 people each year to live independent lives and funds a variety of support services for disabled people, ex-Forces, those with mental or physical health problems, young and older people and the homeless. Significant cuts to the SPP budget would have had a huge impact on so many people’s lives and ultimately cost the NHS and Social Services so much more in the long run. Today’s announcement means the Welsh Government has continued to maintain their impressive levels of spending on preventative services, which clearly shows they (Welsh Government) have acknowledged the true worth of these services.'

Please see below for the announcement: