We did a short report on Tuesday, and since then the Birmingham Mail has looked at the data and published some details, and Edward Bauer, VP Education at the University of Birmingham has shown that Children and Young People will be losing many services, as collectively they face loss in funding of over £1million.
As well as young people, disabled people face closures in services, with nearly £2.8million being lost in funding, an average cut of 65% cuts to funding. The bulk of that was a £2.5m cut to Birmingham Disability Consortia, who support disabled people to find employment. The theme of stopping helping people into employment continues elsewhere, with nearly £4m being cut from projects classed by False Economy as “economic” – these are mostly organisations that provide training or support social and business enterprises for disadvantaged people or in deprived areas. And that figure doesn’t include the £500,000 cut to CAB or the cuts to other advisory services which will help people who are out of work, but do not fall neatly into the economic category.
Recently we saw the start of a new mobile taskforce to chase benefit fraudsters. It seems that the ConDem coalitions are more interested in demonising those either out of work claiming unemployment benefits or unable to work claiming disability benefits, rather than helping them into employment by providing support and training and creating the economic conditions required for full employment.
In terms of areas, it’s hardly a surprise that some areas are harder hit than others. Castle Vale sees cuts to four groups – Castle Vale Community Environmental Trust, Castle Vale Community Regeneration Services, Castle Vale Neighbourhood Partnership & Castle Vale Tenants and Residents Alliance – All of whom have seen a 100% cut in funding from Birmingham City Council, a total of just over £300,000. Lozells, one of the most deprived areas in the UK, has lost funding for a project run by the Lozells Methodist Church which loses the £27,000 of funding it had for social enterprise projects. Small Heath sees funding cut to the Small Heath boxing club and the Small Heath community forum. The boxing club, which worked with truants and children at risk in the area will close.
Within the cuts to children and young people there are many that affect children in care, who are amongst the most vulnerable people in our society. The Children’s Society, which mentors care leavers & unnacompanied asylum seekers, and looked after the missing persons & persistent runaways project is losing all of it’s funding (£229,000) and will no longer provide services.
At the other end of the age spectrum, elderly people are seeing funding for day centres & activities, transport and health projects dry up, leaving many services facing closure.
There are so many cuts happening in Birmingham that it’s really hard to just pull some of them out, and I would encourage people to have a look at the full spreadsheet, click on the far right tab (labelled WM) and you’ll find the West Midlands listing, sorted by council.
If you work for an organisation losing funding, or if you are losing a service, get in touch and help us to fight the cuts. These cuts do not need to happen, and will likely be damaging to the economy and not help solve the economic problems we face. There are alternatives, and together we can fight the cuts and argue for the alternative.