Lambeth Council has secured a share of £6m funding to help unemployed residents into work – especially those who are homeless or overcoming substance abuse. Lambeth is one of six initiatives commissioned by the London Councils, with funding also coming from the European Social Fund, part of the EU.
The programme will offer enhanced support for homeless residents and residents who have recently recovered from substance abuse, plus disabled residents, over-50s, BAME residents and women. It will be delivered by voluntary and community organisations across the borough from September 2016 to December 2018. Across the six projects, 4,500 people will be helped back into work in this needs-led approach.
Our deputy leader Paul McGlone, who is chair of the London Councils’ grants committee, said: “The money will be focused on those who are a long way from employment and will offer tailored support.”
You may have seen in the news that David Cameron criticised his own local council in Oxfordshire for making cuts to frontnline services. The Conservative Leader of Oxfordshire rejected Cameron’s assertions on funding and points out that his council has already cut its back office functions, 40% senior staff and 2800 jobs, as well as selling all available property – all while taking on new responsibilities and managing increased demand for services.
In Lambeth we have lost over 56% of our funding since 2010 – much more than Conservative councils like Oxfordshire – which means unavoidable decisions about what services we can deliver, and how. David Cameron seems to think that there are easy decisions that councils can take, and offered Oxfordshire a meeting with his policy advisers. This kind of special treatment is a breach of the ministerial code so Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth, has written to the Prime Minister requesting the same meeting so that she can make very clear to his advisers the reality of local government cuts in Lambeth.
The Community Hubs Challenge Fund is being proposed by the council to make investment funds available for local community groups and community-led social enterprises. The fund will be used for the refurbishment and redevelopment of community facilities across the borough.
This funding will enable the next phase in the growth of the community hubs network in the borough, to provide safe places for residents, community groups, and small and medium sized enterprises from which they can operate and deliver services. Community hubs will provide a home where community growth, community action, volunteering and enterprise will flourish.
The fund proposes to fund project’s in two ways; 1) the Match Challenge Fund, and 2) the Challenge Fund Purse. A total of £1,000,000 funding will be available for the financial year 2014/2015. The fund will be open for a maximum of 12 months, using two proposed funding rounds: (1) June 2014 to September 2014 (2) November 2014 to January 2015.