This is just a brief note to thank your readers and the people of Hastings for their support during the recent consultation regarding the cuts to adult social care.
As you know, East Sussex County Council held the consultation because of the reduced settlement from central government which meant that they were unable to balance their budget without cutting services.
As a result you may have noticed your council tax bill has gone up whilst local services have been cut.
The proposal for a 90 per cent cut of the adult social care portion of our grant from ESCC ( £48,000 from a total fund of £117,000) caused staff and trustees profound anxiety and created stress for many of our service users, especially at a time when rough sleeping is on the increase.
As this part of the service already runs at a loss (which we have absorbed from fundraising efforts like one of our trustees Caelie Butcher running the Hastings half Marathon, to give an example) we really didn’t know if we could remain open.
Although the proposed cut was implemented fortunately Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group and Public Health England have stepped in and provided short term funding which plugs this gap in funding (£48 000) for at least the next financial year.
This funding will be delivered through ESCC commissioning.
However other PHE funding we had received to support peer development activities is likely to cease.
I firmly believe that it was the public support from local people, as well as the round-the-clock efforts of the staff team which have saved the organisation from closure.
We are working hard to ensure our funding is more sustainable via grant applications, and will be running further fundraising events like The Big Sleep.
This year it falls on September 30.
The monies raised last year provided rough sleeper packs as well as funding some of our outreach services.
Thanks once again to those people who took part in the consultation, lobbied ESCC, and to Amber Rudd who advocated on our behalf behind the scenes.
This support is much appreciated.
Dr Anna Barnes
Seaview Project www.seaviewproject.co.uk
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