AND ISLE OF WIGHT
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Supporting People Distribution Formula
Response received from Phil Woolas MP
Letter sent on 19 September 2005 from the Chairman to David Miliband MP
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Government Association (
am writing to express the Association’s grave concern at your current
proposals to introduce a radical redistribution of funding allocated to
local authorities for the provision of housing related support under the
Supporting People programme.
has been a leading authority in developing supported housing since the late
1980’s. Links between the County Council and the District Councils have been
cited for many years as an example of good practice, at least as far back as
Local Authority Circular 92/10 in the early 1990s. We have worked closely with
the Housing Corporation for many years to ensure that investment is well
targeted at need. The result is that Hampshire has a wide range of established
good quality services.
authorities saw Supporting People as a tremendous opportunity to continue with
the work of providing good quality “ordinary” housing for a wide range of
people with support needs, but we did not want to abuse the Transitional Housing
Benefit (THB) system. As a result a working group and protocol were established
between the County Council and the eleven District Council Housing Benefit
departments. A protocol was also established with the then Care Standards
Commission to ensure that there were
no inappropriate “deregistrations” of registered care homes simply to take
advantage of the new funding.
the Supporting People programme went live in April 2003 the Hampshire and
is now in a tremendous position to make real changes to how services are
delivered, ensuring the best use of funding and resources, within the clear
strategic direction agreed through the Five Year Strategy.
problem that we are facing is that the proposed distribution formula takes no
account of the hard work that has taken place, the numbers of people that are
provided for, or the quality and cost effectiveness of the services we host. The
ODPM website tells us that we could face massive cuts to services for homeless
and other vulnerable people.
example gives Hampshire £4m per year less than we had available for services in
April 2000, before Transitional Housing Benefit came into existence. Overall
Hampshire could, if ODPM estimates are correct, end with having to cut a total
of £18m from the original £34m housing and support budget.
these vast cuts will lead to the closure of valued cost effective established
services that vulnerable people are currently using.
are not arguing against a distribution formula based on need. But as yet we have
received no explanation as to why this proposed formula gives such a radically
different result to other formulas used for similar purposes. For instance under
Formula Spending Share (FSS) Hampshire’s allocation would actually increase.
FSS applies to approximately 60% of the Supporting People spend, i.e. older
people, disabilities, mental health, young people etc.
we are sure you understand, the uncertainty over the future of the programme is
causing enormous concern to service users, providers
and commissioners. The continuing delays in producing a consultation
paper are not helpful in this. As a result we have four requests:
Authorities and other commissioning agencies are committed to the success of the
Supporting People programme in Hampshire. We do not believe that the very large
loss of funding that is being envisaged can be sustained in Hampshire without
many thousands of vulnerable people suffering, or that it will lead to good
investment decisions in the areas that get 200% plus increases.
We ask you to think again.
Last update: 04/08/2008