Statement on the future of the Stockport Local Assistance Scheme (SLAS)

Stockport Council continues to face financial challenges which means we have to address a funding gap of £47 million over the next four years on top of £100 million to date.

Because of this, we have difficult decisions to make when allocating and prioritising public spending whilst trying to protect front line services. The feedback from our communities and partners is important in informing these decisions.

Over the last few months, we have been consulting residents and other stakeholders on the future of our Stockport Local Assistance Scheme (SLAS). The SLAS offers support to meet emergency needs, for example where someone has no food, clothing or gas and electric for the home. Thank you to all those who contributed; this has provided valuable feedback and helped shape decisions about our next steps.

Having carefully listened to the views of our residents, alongside our understanding of how the scheme currently offers support, it is now planned to retain the current SLAS throughout 2019/20 while a wider fundamental review is undertaken of how the needs of individuals and families who encounter crisis are best supported.

Stockport Council is committed to supporting those in our communities who are our most vulnerable to achieve the best possible outcomes. At the same time, we must make sure we are doing this in the most effective and efficient way.

This decision will allow us the time to undertake a thorough review in order to make sure we get the support offer right. This work will provide detailed, costed plans on how we can reshape our offer to provide support to those who need it whilst also ensuring what we will have in place is as effective and efficient as possible, given the ongoing financial challenges the council faces.

Our communities and partners will be involved in this review and we would encourage all those interested to get involved. Further updates will be provided as the review is developed over the coming months.