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North West awarded ₤34,179,771 to support vulnerable families and build brighter futures

NEARLY 11,000 vulnerable families across the North West of England will receive tailored support and interventions through Government investment in the flagship Supporting Families programme. This week the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that Councils across England will receive a share of over ₤200 million, in 2022 / 2023, to support vulnerable families in their communities and help them build a brighter future. Working jointly with the Department for Education and other departments, the extra money will help local areas tackle the challenges that vulnerable families face including those that put them at risk of neglect or harm. Dedicated key workers work with every member of the family and bring local services together to resolve issues at an early stage before they develop into more significant problems. Families are supported to leave abusive relationships, receive joined up support for mental health issues and help people find work. More than 470,000 families have been supported to build a brighter future since the programme was launched in 2015. This announcement means Councils will be able to support even more families combat problems.

Minister for Levelling up Communities Kemi Badenoch said:- "As a society we must help the most vulnerable in our communities and the Government is focused on giving families the support they need to build a better future. Our Supporting Families programme in the North West plays an integral role as we recover from the Pandemic, making sure children get back to School, helping those who have lost their jobs get back into work, protecting people's mental health and stopping domestic abuse."

This is broken into the following:-

Blackburn with Darwen ₤992,434.

Blackpool ₤992,434.

Cheshire East ₤957,100.

Cheshire West and Chester ₤1,053,234.

Cumbria ₤1,510,000.

Greater Manchester ₤15,173,134.

Halton ₤774,700.

Knowsley ₤1,098,100.

Lancashire ₤4,382,467.

Liverpool ₤2,981,267.

Sefton ₤1,037,300.

St. Helens ₤911,100.

Warrington ₤758,767.

Wirral ₤1,557,734.

Funding allocations for North West totals:- ₤34,179,771.  To date up to ₤1.2 billion has been invested in the programme since 2012.

Evidence shows the whole family approach taken through Supporting Families could prevent children in vulnerable families from ending up in the care system, reduce the likelihood of involvement in crime and support families back towards work and more fulfilling lives. It also found that the proportion of adults receiving custodial sentences had decreased by a quarter; under 18's receiving custodial sentences had decreased by almost 40%; and the proportion of adults on the programme claiming Jobseeker's Allowance had decreased by 11%. 

The Supporting Families programme costs the taxpayer less in the long run; by preventing issues before they become more serious. Full funding allocations can be found on:- Gov.UK. Please do let our Newsroom know your thoughts on this by emailing:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

Levelling Up and Liverpool City Region - the devil's in the delivery, says Federation of Small Businesses

RESPONDING to the Government's Levelling Up white paper announcement, FSB Area Leader for Liverpool City Region, Michael Sandys, said:- "To ensure Levelling Up is a success, small businesses must be front and centre, with improvements made to connectivity, business support and skills development across the UK. The focus that the Government has put on locality, rejuvenating town centres and high streets, where the majority of businesses are small, is welcome. However, the devil will be in the delivery. In the towns and areas of the country where it is most important to level up, small businesses are not short of ambition and want to flourish and grow. Our research shows half of small business owners in these 'less favoured areas' are striving to become a business leader in their community. They need significant support if we are to make meaningful changes to communities and tackle Regional inequalities. Funding for Birkenhead, Southport, Runcorn and St Helens in Liverpool City Region is positive, but it is disappointing that areas such as Knowsley; 1 of the most deprived in the country; will miss out on crucial Levelling Up funding where more affluent areas elsewhere will benefit. In the wake of the Government's Integrated Rail Plan and HS2 announcement, there are already concerns over plans for connectivity in Liverpool City Region and other parts of the country. Local public transport is important to small businesses and their employees, and improvements in its frequency and quality are much needed, as well as a focus on improving deteriorating local roads. Housing is key to levelling up and while it's a positive move to provide loans to small housing firms as part of the Home Building Fund, a small house builders strategy is needed to make certain smaller businesses are at the forefront of policy thinking. The acid test will be whether small firms, which are integral to our economic recovery, feel better supported, are better connected, can find the right staff and feel more pride in their area. With costs spiralling, potentially debilitating tax rises on the horizon and many more challenges, Levelling Up must now deliver lasting change; it cannot just be a worthy intention or partisan slogan."

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