Compromise over redistribution of Supporting People funds

The Scottish executive is set to announce a compromise over the
redistribution of Supporting People funds in Scotland, Community
Care Live Scotland delegates heard yesterday, writes
Lauren Revans in Edinburgh

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities health and social care
lead Alan McKeown said that, although the overall budget size and
the new distribution formula for Supporting People funding was not
expected to change, the impact on local authorities’
individual budgets over the next three years was likely to be less

The anticipated climb down follows detailed negotiations between
Cosla and the Scottish executive after Cosla accused former
communities minister Margaret Curran of using “underhand
tactics” when she announced individual councils’
Supporting People allocations last month.

Under the new distribution formula – based on numbers of
older people, homeless people, people with disabilities and the
deprivation index and intended to end the “postcode”
lottery of the provision of housing-related support services
– only a few councils are set to benefit, while many face
considerable cuts.

McKeown said that a sizeable number of authorities had been
expected to absorb cuts of around 30 per cent between 2005 and 2008
under Curran’s original timetable. He criticised the
executive for their failure to consult over the redistribution

Head of Supporting People division at the Scottish executive
Stephen Sandham said that, while there was no suggestion that money
had been inappropriately used locally, it was undeniable that
resources did not necessarily match need on a national basis.

However, he acknowledged that new communities minister Malcolm
Chisholm would be taking a “different line from Margaret
Curran on the speed of redistribution”.

Last month’s allocations followed the news that the over
Supporting People budget for Scotland would be cut from £426
million this year to £406 million in 2005/6 and £399
million the following two years. McKeown said that, in real terms,
this amounted to a cut of £60 million between 2005 and

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