Leicester

Leicestershire County Council to reduce family budget by £50m

A county council is considering cutting more than £50m from a budget that supports struggling families in Leicestershire.

Leicestershire County Council spends about £160m on over 3,000 families with complex needs, with many considered at risk of becoming troubled families.

It said it could make the savings by pooling budgets with other agencies.

The authority will also consider spending £5m on employing family support staff.

Andy Robinson, assistant chief executive at Leicestershire County Council, said: "We are seeking to work in a more joined up way with families to give them more support and improve their lives, and reduce their requirements for public sector support."

Keith Libetta, regional organiser for the union Unison, said: "We welcome the additional short-term investment to review the services being provided to troubled families, and to look at alternative methods of supporting them.

"If the review identifies new ways of meeting the needs of this group which achieve better outcomes for them, then any savings are incidental and are a bonus, but should not be the main reason for introducing any changes in the future."

Home Start, a Leicester-based charity, said a family with complex needs could be defined as a single parent who has lost a partner, or family member, and if the issues are not addressed then the family could become labelled as "troubled".

The cabinet will discuss the proposals on 12 June.

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