“Some people are falling through the safety net, though. They’re very vulnerable indeed, and for a significant number food bank packs are not going to solve their problems. What they need is long-term support and intervention – from a state that’s capable of engaging with them. They deserve welfare policies that offer proper help to individuals struggling with a host of adverse circumstances, including chronic ill health. Not just sanctioning their benefits when they ‘fail’ to apply for enough ‘jobs’, or being left without benefits while they wait in limbo for decisions on employment and support allowance (ESA) to be reconsidered. ” Take that, Norman Tebbit!

Ann McGauran

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Something worth celebrating happened here recently. Nominated by members of the public, the foodbank network in the borough got a special award for its contribution to the community. The ceremony was held at the town hall, and the lovely and very dedicated food bank manager Alan was there to receive it.

As I’ve said before, this cash-strapped local council isn’t perfect, but it does try harder than most to help the growing number of vulnerable people in the area. It also values social cohension and is striving against considerable odds to address issues of inequality and poverty.

The council is being starved of funding, like all local authorities. The Local Government Association (LGA) has pointed out that overall funding for local government has been cut by more than 40 per cent in the course of this Parliament. The LGA has already called on the government to think again about getting…

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