Public consultation opens on County Council’s adult social care savings proposals

Hampshire County Council has opened a six-week public consultation on proposals to save £680,000 from its Adult Social Care budget to help meet the County Council’s overall budget shortfall of at least £80million by April 2023.

Feb 7 2022

The proposed changes, which could contribute £320,000 towards this target, would end:

  • the Neighbourhood Care and Support grant scheme
  • the Community Based Support grant scheme
  • the Rural Connections grant scheme.

These grants are currently provided to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations across Hampshire to support adults to continue to live independently in their communities.

Additionally, a further £360,000 could be contributed by reducing funding for commissioned non-statutory services that support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Lead Member for Adult Services and Public Health said: “Finding additional savings across adult social care is extremely challenging, and while significant work continues to transform services and find more efficient ways of doing things, we have additionally had to take the very difficult decision to review some services that we have no legal obligation to provide. This is not something we do easily or lightly, but should any, or all of the proposals be taken forward, we would prioritise working with partner organisations to help minimise the impact of any changes. 

“In the case of community grants, this would involve supporting local organisations to secure alternative methods of funding, improve the co-ordination of grant applications, as well as introducing proactive initiatives to help increase the number of volunteers coming forward.”

She added: “Homelessness support would continue to receive some £2 million of County Council discretionary funding, focused on prioritising help in accommodation-based settings, and those services that work with the most vulnerable - as well as delivering outreach and community-based support in those areas where accommodation is not available.”

Subject to consultation, the three community grants are currently offered on a one to two-year cycle.  The approach taken to offering grants has been to encourage applying organisations to set out how they would plan to sustain their operations independently in the longer term. 

The consultation closes at 11:59pm on Monday 21 March 2022.

Hampshire County Council’s Adults’ Health and Care service expects to contribute some £40.6 million to the Local Authority’s overall £80 million savings target to April 2023.