The impact of cuts on deprived communities

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published Serving Deprived Communities in a Recession. The report examines how budget cuts will affect the capacity of local government in England to meet the needs of more deprived households and communities. It finds that the most deprived local authorities have been hardest hit by the cuts, and there is evidence of conflict within local authorities over whether the needs of vulnerable people should be prioritised.  It said services for children and young people “appear to have taken the biggest hit” from the Emergency Budget of 2010. The analysis looked at how 25 local authorities are coping with the “severe contraction in grant income” that followed the Emergency Budget and subsequent Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010.

One of the three service arenas most often mentioned by interviewees as an example of the development of more targeted approaches was youth services, with a number of authorities seemingly having to make large cuts. The report noted however that “community consultations often revealed that ‘finding things for young people to do’ was a priority for residents.”

Glen Bramley, author of the report, said: “Despite some services used by all groups being significantly reduced, the impact of service provision cuts will fall more heavily on disadvantaged people who rely on public services. Unlike the more well-off, they are less able to supplement the loss of public services (such as childcare, libraries and youth clubs) with private provision.”


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