Campaigners have accused the council of ‘abandoning’ vulnerable young people after pulling the plug on £7m housing support funding.
Protesters from SAFE, a consortium providing housing and support to homeless 16 to 24 year-olds, gathered outside County Hall in Matlock as Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet confirmed cuts to housing related support.
They described plans to cut funding by up to 85 per cent as ‘illogical, irrational and counter-productive’ and said they directly contradict the council’s own ambitions for young people.
Andrew Redfern, chief executive of Framework – the lead partner in the consortium – said: “If these cuts go ahead as planned this service will cease to exist in March 2016, leaving hundreds of the most vulnerable and excluded young people in our communities without the support they need.
“We know that if these young people are not offered this kind of help now, they will present with far more challenging problems in future.”
Derbyshire County Council’s member for adult social care, Cllr Clare Neill said: “I am doing all I can to try to mitigate against the cuts in some areas and have been working with providers to see how things can be done differently, so some level of service can be maintained even on a reduced budget, to support those that are most vulnerable.
“However, the truth is that some cuts are unavoidable, especially in areas which we do not have a legal duty to fund. Where services do stop we will do all we can to try to support people to find services or support from other sources.”