Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Gareth Snell, has criticised Stoke-on-Trent City Council for their budget plans for the oncoming year.
In a letter co-written with Stoke-on-Trent North MP Ruth Smeeth, they stated that the council is ‘spending their cash reserves at a far greater pace than would ordinarily have been expected’.
Deputy Leader of the Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Abi Brown, announced the budget at the end of February, approving a four percent tax hike and £10.2 million of budget savings.
Cuts introduced by the council would be to reduce homelessness services by £1 million in 2020, create savings in drug and alcohol services of over £750,000 and changes to adult social care saving £2.4 million.
Speaking to StaffsLive Mr Snell, said: “There will be no homelessness support so there will be people who are currently in homes, who could be helped to stay but will end up on the streets as a result of that.
“The cuts the City Council have put forward are going to coalesce around a small group of vulnerable people who access quite a lot of services”.
As part of the four percent tax hike, there will be a two percent adult social care precept, which will help fund social care services in the city, despite having to save £2.4 million in the social area.
Mr Snell, said: “We have a social care crisis in Stoke and we have not got enough social care workers.
“It is good that the City Council are trying to put more money in, but fundamentally the social care issue is a national funding issue and little tax increases here and there on individual households, is not going to solve that.
“Ultimately, having Stoke-on-Trent raise money to pay for care in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is not a good long-term plan for social care needs, it means there is a postcode lottery issue.
“The standard of care in Stoke is very different to the standard of care in Newcastle, and that drives a market force and then distorts where people work and the amount people have to pay for care.
“The answer is not always about more money, its about what you do with the money you have and at the moment, the City Council are focusing on the wrong things.
“But they are doing what they are doing with the resources they have and they do need more resources”.
A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman, said: “We are committed to supporting all people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and we have a statutory duty to provide emergency accommodation for those who are eligible and in priority need.
“The council provides services above and beyond its statutory duties. We are working with organisations to help ensure that the right level of support is provided for people in the future.”