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Reforms to the Supporting People Programme

Briefing No. 98 October 2004

Introduction Supporting People Programme

Introduced in 2003, the Supporting People programme provides housing support for vulnerable people in Scotland, including the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, and older people, allowing them to move to independent living or to sustain independent living in their homes. The programme puts in place an integrated planning and funding framework for housing related support services i.e. services that help vulnerable people live independently in their accommodation.

In 2004 the programme will provide services for more than 80,000 clients across Scotland, in a variety of ways and places, ranging from wardens in sheltered housing to courses in independent living for young homeless people and from help with the practicalities of managing a home like making sure bills are paid on time to assistance with the safety of the elderly and infirm.

Supporting People Funding Allocations and Reform of Programme

The Minister for Communities recently announced major reforms of the SPP. These reforms include the way in which future allocations of the SPP will be decided and a reduction in the overall pot of SPP funds, which will be allocated to Scotland's local authorities.

1. New Funding Model

Allocation of SPP funds will now be based on a formula composed of indicators that reflect the key client groups, which are intended to benefit from the Supporting People programme.

The formula is composed of the following four elements and broken down on a percentage basis as follows:

  1. No. of elderly people in the local authority area 30%
  2. No. of people with disabilities 20%
  3. No. of homelessness allocations (averaged over a three year period) 30%
  4. Degree of deprivation 20%.

To allow authorities to make the transition to the new arrangements, the Minister also announced limits to the maximum reduction that any local authority will face for each of the next three years (15% in 2005-06 and 10% in each of the next two years). In addition Ministers also set up a transitional support and reform fund of £8 million per year in 2006-07 and 2007-08 for those LAs most seriously affected by the redistribution of funding.

This new funding model will mean that funding will be disbursed not on the basis of actual need as previously demonstrated in specific funding applications, but by using general pointers to need. The result of this change is that it will create a finite pot of funding and subsequent cuts for those local authorities who had previously taken full advantage of the scheme to help the vulnerable and disadvantaged in their area.

2. Supporting People Programme Allocations

Listed overleaf are the funding levels allocated to each Scottish Local Authority via the Supporting People Programme. The figures for 2005 to 2008 are the funds allocated to each local authority as part of the Executive's recently announced three-year settlement.

Council

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

Total Gain/Loss

Aberdeen City

12.3m

12.3m

11.9m

11.9m

-0.4m (-3%)

Aberdeenshire

9.4m

9.7m

9.7m

9.9.m

+0.5m (+4%)

Angus

6.4m

6.7m

6.7m

6.9m

+0.5m (+8%)

Argyll & Bute

8.2m

12.7

11.4m

10.3m

+2.1m (+26%)

Clackmannanshire

3.0m

3.6m

3.7m

4.2m

+1.2m (+33%)

Dumfries & Gall

15.0m

12.8m

11.5m

10.6m

+4.4m (+29%)

Dundee City

11.6m

12.1m

12.1m

12.3m

+0.7m (+6%)

East Ayrshire

6.1m

7.2m

7.3m

8.3m

+2.2m (+36%)

E. Dunbartonshire

5.5m

5.4m

5.2m

5.2m

-0.3m (-5%)

East Lothian

9.3m

8.0m

7.2m

6.4m

-2.9m (-31%)

East Renfrewshire

6.2m

5.3m

4.8m

4.3m

-1.9m (-30.5%)

Edinburgh, City of

44.6m

38m

34.2m

31.3m

-13.3m (-29.8%)

Eilean Siar

0.35m

0.7m

0.7m

1.1m

+0.7m (+200%)

Falkirk

8.2m

8.9m

9.0m

9.5m

+1.3m (+16%)

Fife

28.3m

25.5m

24.5m

24.5m

-3.8m (-13%)

Glasgow City

71.7m

77.3m

77.9m

82.6m

+10.9m (+15%)

Highland

13.9m

12.2m

11.7m

11.7m

-2.2m (-16%)

Inverclyde

8.1m

8m

7.7m

7.7m

-0.4m (-5%)

Midlothian

6.0m

5.2m

4.6m

4.2m

-1.8m (-30%)

Moray

6.9m

5.9m

5.3m

4.8m

-2.1m (-30%)

North Ayrshire

14.7m

12.5m

11.9m

11.9m

-2.8m (-19%)

North Lanarkshire

24.8m

25.8m

25.9m

26.5m

-1.7m (-7%)

Orkney Islands

0.35m

0.6m

0.6m

0.8m

+0.45m (+128.5%)

Perth & Kinross

6.2m

6.9m

6.9m

7.5m

+1.3m (+21%)

Renfrewshire

18.3m

15.6m

14.0m

12.8m

-5.5m (-30%)

Scottish Borders

5.9m

6.0m

5.8m

5.8m

-0.1m (-1.7%)

Shetland Islands

0.78m

0.9m

0.9m

1.0m

+0.22m (+28%)

South Ayrshire

8.1m

8.2m

8.0m

8.0m

-0.1m (-1%)

South Lanarkshire

23.4m

22.4m

22.4m

22.4m

-1.0m (-4%)

Stirling

3.8m

4.4m

4.5m

5.1m

+1.3m (+ 34%)

W. Dunbartonshire

17.7m

14.9m

13.4m

12m

-5.7m (-32%)

West Lothian

9.7m

9.8m

9.6m

9.6m

-0.1m (-1%)

Scotland

408m

406m

391m

391m

-17m (-4%)

As the allocation figures in the table indicate, the actual size of the pot of SPP funds will dramatically decrease year-on-year from 2005 onwards. In addition, the adoption of the new funding model will also mean a less favourable distribution of funds, adversely effecting those local authorities who have previously taken full advantage of the scheme to help the vulnerable and disadvantaged in their area.

For example, as a result of these reforms West Dunbartonshire, which has claimed one of the highest per capita rates of Supporting People allowance in Scotland, will experience a 32% reduction in SPP funding over a five year period (from £19.3m to £12m). This reduction in funding will directly affect thousands of vulnerable people in the most disadvantaged areas who will now face sweeping cuts in services. These cuts in services will also threaten the jobs of many of many hundreds of workers, both in the public and voluntary sectors, whom help provide these services.

The winners in these reforms will be those more affluent local authorities who have historically dedicated modest resources to accessing funds from the SPP.

Action for Branches

This Briefing is intended to inform Branches of the main issues surrounding the reform of the Supporting People programme and the implications for services in their local authority

area. Branches should also attempt to discover the impact of these cuts on services in their local authority areas.

In addition to affecting services provided directly by local authorities, voluntary sector projects, which are funded by local authorities, will also suffer. Any information gathered should be forwarded to the P&I Team at West Campbell Street.

Contacts List:

Michael Byers
m.byers@unison.co.uk

Dave Watson
d.watson@unison.co.uk

@P&I Team
14 West Campbell Street
GLASGOW
G2 6RX
Tel: 0845 355 0845
Fax: 0141 307 2572

 

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Further Information

Contacts List:

Michael Byers
m.byers@unison.co.uk

Dave Watson
d.watson@unison.co.uk

@P&I Team
14 West Campbell Street
GLASGOW
G2 6RX
Tel: 0845 355 0845
Fax: 0141 307 2572