Greenwich Council’s Cabinet will discuss finances tomorrow (27th January) with a number of cuts on the agenda.
One such cost cutting measure would see 10 staff leave in a department dealing with homelessness prevention.
A report states: “The current service is very paper-based from initial access throughout the homelessness application process to a decision being made on eligibility. The initial access to the service is through a Housing Plan where residents have to provide paper-based evidence. This process could be the start of digitisation and creating service efficiencies with residents having online service plans created before their initial meeting with the service. This process could be carried on throughout the application process and tie into offering residents “Prevention” opportunities through digital interactions.”
With 100 staff this would see a 10 per cent cut. The report states “On benchmarking with other local authorities (with similar or greater demand), services contain between 60 – 80 posts suggesting that efficiencies could be made in the service and staff savings released”.
Government cuts to local authorities have hit council finances hard as has the pandemic over the past year. Housing demand has also rocketed across the borough recently, with housing waiting lists up to 23,000 and homeless households rising to 1,442 in autumn 2020 – a rise of over 250 since February 2020.
A lack of social housing means many are housed in expensive short term accommodation.
Consultation would take place imminently with implementation by Q3 2021
if the plan proceeds. The forecast is a £378,000 saving per year.