Crisis cash fund withdrawn in Sheffield

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A £2.4m grant spent on helping women flee domestic abuse, homeless people and struggling families has been withdrawn from Sheffield Council.

The Local Welfare Provision Grant was axed as part of the Local Government Settlement announced last week.

It funded the Sheffield Local Assistance grants and loans, which can be given to people in an emergency or crisis when there is a risk to their health and safety, or when people are under ‘exceptional pressure’.

The grants are often used to buy household furniture or essential items such as bedding and last year aided 3,247 people.

The Government says local welfare will now be paid for from council general funds.

Coun Ben Curran, cabinet member for finance, said the council would do ‘all it could’ to protect the most vulnerable people but it would be difficult because of Government cuts that have squeezed other budgets.

“The government’s decision to abolish this funding is a kick in the teeth to individuals and families who have relied on it when facing an unexpected financial crisis,” he said.

“Life is tough for an increasing number of people. Living on a low income means many across Sheffield are living hand to mouth and many don’t have the ability to save.

“That’s why this funding was so important. 
“The council used it to provide emergency support to people who fall into unexpected crisis - like women fleeing domestic violence, and the homeless.