12 local charities including St Basils have written to Theresa May calling on her to 'act now to save Birmingham's 'shared society', which embodies the vision she herself set out in a landmark speech on 9th January at the Charity Commission.
The organisations campaigning for action to stop the cuts represent a range of providers (pictured) collectively supporting thousands of people dealing with multiple and complex needs including mental ill-health, disabilities, homelessness, domestic abuse and caring responsibilities.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister the charity bosses say the proposed cuts to Birmingham’s Supporting People and Third Sector Grant Programme will create a “huge human cost”. Future financial woes for the city will also be stored up in the form of increased pressure on remaining public services, including Accident and Emergency departments.
This stark warning follows the recent tragedy of a rough sleeper dying on the streets of Birmingham City Centre on the coldest night of the year so far. The proposed cuts of £10m to homelessness and related services, as part of Birmingham City Council’s proposed budget for the next two years, were announced a week later. The charity leaders are pleading with Theresa May to remember she pledged to “support and champion” the voluntary sector when she launched her vision for a “shared society” earlier this month.
The letter points out how these services have already been dramaticially cut saying:
"A consultation is currently underway on proposed cuts of £5m, rising to £10m in 2018/9, within the Supporting People and Third Sector Grant Programme, which has already absorbed cuts of 50% from an initial total of £50m."
It also points out how they will be further effected:
"If carried out, these additional cuts will erode the housing and housing-related support which underpins the infrastructure of a shared society in Birmingham, and directly disadvantage unprecedented numbers of at-risk local people, including at least:
"Our data shows that 50% of local not-for-profit services report likely closure within 2 years should these cuts go ahead."
The letter finishes with:
"Once these services are gone, they will be virtually impossible to regain".
"We respectfully ask for your practical and personal help in ensuring that the shared society in Birmingham isn’t dismantled, and is instead supported to flourish for the benefit of all."