LACK of care for homeless and vulnerable people across the district has reached ‘crisis point’, say Labour councillors who warn the situation is only set to get worse.
Warwickshire County Council recently halved the housing related support budget to some £3 million, which has affected hostel beds available.
The number of beds is set to drop from 120 to 60 due to the closure of hostels Beauchamp House in Warwick and Eden Villa and William Wallsgrove House in Leamington.
The county council say the cuts come from its need to balance homeless services across the county.
Warwick district Labour councillor Colin Quinney said: “We are very concerned at the impact these major cuts will have on the welfare of our most vulnerable residents, on our ability to meet housing needs and on the risks to health and of a further rise in homelessness in the district – already at worrying levels.
“Numbers on our housing waiting list with the highest priority needs are climbing steeply.”
And county councillor Matt Western added some of the most vulnerable members of society were being left with very little support.
He told The Observer: ” It has reached crisis point.
“Support and protection should be provided by the local authority but increasingly this is being left to volunteer support organisations such as the various night shelters, the Salvation Army and Helping Hands based in South Leamington. There is increasing pressure on these organisations and there simply isn’t the funding to support the additional demand.”
County council chiefs recently announced they had to make extra savings of £67million over the next three years.
Council services had already been hit hard by the last round of cuts to government grants, which saw the need to save £92 million by 2018.
Labour want to see a budget and strategy agreed for next year to tackle homelessness.