Proposed cuts to homelessness service could be overturned
PLANS to cut £280,000 from council services which help prevent homelessness in Bristol are set to be overturned at a meeting today.
The city's mayor George Ferguson had proposed cuts to the services to help plug a £35 million hole in the council's budget.
But they are set to be saved after the city council's Liberal Democrats proposed using money from a contingency fund to pay for them.
The Lib Dems will put forward the plan – which is expected to be passed – as an amendment to the budget at a meeting today.
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Cabinet Member for Health Barbara Janke identified the alternative source of funding to protect the services.
It means that a Green Party proposal to axe adult learning services instead – producing a £200,000 saving at the expense of 1,000 people using the subsidised courses – can be ditched.
Councillor Janke, pictured, (Clifton) has recently campaigned to save the adult learning service, which operates principally out of the Stoke Lodge centre, in Shirehampton Road, where nearly 90 per cent of courses are delivered, and the St Paul's Learning Centre, in Grosvenor Road, where the majority of the remainder operate.
She said: "As Cabinet Member for Health, I am particularly anxious that we don't lose a service that is a clear health benefit, encouraging people to develop skills and get more out of life.
"Courses run by this service cover a wide range of subjects. Adult learning can be the first step to new opportunities for low earners who want to upgrade their IT or learn new skills such as upholstery, electronics or even languages such as Chinese.
"Many people gain confidence to pursue learning at higher levels.
"Adult learning also has a powerful role in helping people who are long-term sick or depressed.
"It can also be a lifeline for isolated older people, enabling them to build and maintain vital social networks while learning how to look after their own health at home, often becoming more active in their own communities as a result."
A petition against the cuts had also been started on the council's website.