Do not cut Social Welfare Advice Funding Levels in Tower Hamlets
We are shocked and concerned at the recommendations of the Tower Hamlets Third Sector Grants Programme Board to reduce the level of annual funding to the borough’s main advice service providers by 50 to 75%, at a time when this borough’s poorest and most disadvantaged residents are facing a welfare reform programme that will affect thousands of families and individuals.
The following agencies are all members of the Tower Hamlets Community Advice Network and all have a strong track record of delivering accessible, quality assured social welfare advice to the diverse communities across the borough:
Island Advice Centre, Chinese Association of Tower Hamlets, Legal Advice Centre, St Hilda’s East Community Centre, St Peter’s Community and Advice Centre, Tower Hamlets Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB), Praxis, OSCA Somali Advice Consortium, Limehouse Project, Bangladeshi Youth Movement Wapping Bangladeshi Association, Account 3, Bromley by Bow Centre, South Bromley Forum, Toynbee Hall and Tower Hamlets Law Centre.
The effect of these cuts will be drastic reductions in services borough-wide at a time of rising need, while some of the busiest and longest-standing advice agencies in the borough face closure.
The agencies listed above all currently receive funding from council mainstream grants to deliver co-ordinated social welfare advice provision across the borough that ensures residents have access to independent advice services 5 days a week.
In light of the damage that will be done to the rights of local residents and the loss of support for them at a time of social crisis, we urge that Cabinet reviews the reduced level of funding recommended to THCAN advice agencies.
We ask that the council restore funding to the previous 2011-12 levels to enable advice agencies to continue delivering an essential high quality co-ordinated advice service.
This is particularly crucial in light of the continuing adverse impacts of the welfare reform changes and economic recession on the poorest residents in the borough.
The Do not cut Social Welfare Advice Funding Levels in Tower Hamlets petition to The London Borough of Tower Hamlets was written by Tower Hamlets Law Centre and is in the category Justice at GoPetition.