This Sunday, I'm taking part in a sleep out at County Hall in Truro to highlight the impact of the the cuts to Cornwall's Supporting People budget and the effect they will have on homeless people in Cornwall.
The government allocates a budget for this work (although it is no longer 'ring-fenced') but the Council has cut our local budget by 40%. Whilst the Council Leader claims that the same work can still be done for less money, Adult Care Cabinet member Armand Toms is more honest in admitting that it will be the entire programme which will be affected.
I am concerned that the effect in our area (and across Cornwall) will be severe. There is a danger to the future of the Launceston Foyer which provides supported accommodation to young people who are at risk of being homeless and who are likely otherwise to turn to drink, drugs or crime. The foyer also provides and advice service and helps lead young people into training and employment. I'm asking a question about the future of the foyer network at full council next Tuesday.
The supporting people budget also helps people living in their own homes, making sure that they are accessing the full range of support they need (and are entitled to), that they are properly cared for and that they can get out and about. Many people are worried that they are going to be left high and dry.
I'm happy to support the sleep out which is being organised by John Coventry who works at the Cosgarne Hall facility in St Austell. As well as myself, Lib Dem councillors Ann Kerridge, Derris Watson and Roy Taylor will be there as well as a number of others.