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SALFORD FOODBANK GROWTH AS WELFARE CUTS BITE DEEP
 

Star date: 28th February 2013

LOWER BROUGHTON FOODBANK SEES DEMAND SOARING

"More and more people are getting into that level of trouble where they literally can't put food on the table…" volunteer

The biggest benefit cuts and Bedroom Tax don't even come in until the end of March but already foodbanks are springing up in Salford to cope with poverty.

As an official Salford City Council report lists the horrendous consequences of political and financial attacks on the most disadvantaged in our society, we visit the Trussell Trust Foodbank in Lower Broughton to gauge the destitution…

Full details click here…


Salford Central Foodbank Salford Central Foodbank Church of the Ascension Salford
click image to enlarge

It's Tuesday afternoon at the Church of the Ascension, right in the middle of the `New Broughton' £500million regeneration area that was supposed to somehow help one of the most disadvantaged communities in Salford.

But at the Church of the Ascension, the only thing ascending are trays of pasta, tinned peaches and tomato sauce as volunteers prepare the Salford Central Foodbank for its opening.

Soon, a steady stream of people will arrive clutching vouchers given out by organisations on the front line of the city's poverty – including the Broughton Trust, Citizens Advice Bureau, Salford Young Carers Services, Salford Drug and Alcohol Team, Unlimited Potential, Salford Council's Adult Social Services and Early Intervention Team, and local schools and Children's Centres.

You can't just turn up and withdraw meal ingredients from the foodbank. You have to be referred. Which means that only those who have the severest needs, and are known to the system, can get help.

The help they get is a voucher for three days food and they can only use the service three times in any twelve month period. It's an emergency stopgap. And the emergencies are coming thick and fast. Around 250 people have been helped from the local community since the Central Salford Foodbank opened four months ago.

Volunteer, Andy McWilliam, a member of Christ Central Church in Manchester, one of the Trussell Trust partners behind the foodbank, believes that there is a direct link between welfare cuts and the growth of charitable handouts for the destitute.

"We get all sorts of people here, quite often it's people who have had sudden issues with the supply of their benefits, that kind of thing" he says "It's not providing a long term solution, it's intended as a stopgap. So if they've had a hold on their benefits it can fill that gap while they get them sorted.

"That's deliberate because we don't want people to get into the position of dependency on something" he adds "We want them to have the motivation to sort out the root issue."

Those root issues are getting harder and harder to sort out. A Salford Council report, seen by the Salford Star, lists the horrendous impacts that the ConDem Government's Welfare Reform Act of 2012 is having and will have as time progresses...

Around 5,000 people are set to lose Incapacity Benefit in Salford; over 19,000
working age households
in Salford are set to be affected by Council Tax
Benefit
cuts, which will lead to "unprecedented levels of Council Tax arrears";
the replacement of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with the Personal
Independence Payment (PIP)
will mean 11,000 people, or 20% of those currently supported will have financial help taken off them…

Meanwhile, the Bedroom Tax and rent rises will see unprecedented numbers of Salford people plunged into poverty and homelessness, and the Universal Credit system that starts in October will see lone parents and disabled people who live alone lose money. Those with disabled children are set to lose around £1,400 for each child. It's a recipe for social disaster.

The Salford Council report concludes that "the most vulnerable in the community are facing real cuts to their income; increased costs of daily living and the public services upon which many rely are under pressure". The report  lists the consequences…

• Increased indebtedness
• Increased arrears of rent and Council Tax 
• Increased use of high interest lenders and loan sharks
• Increased homelessness presentations and homes at risk of possession.
• Fewer people with contents insurance.
• Fewer people with savings.
• Higher levels of depression and mental health problems.

Yet, before most of the Dickensian measures have even come into being, the foodbanks are seeing demand "rocketing"

"Clearly more and more people are getting into that level of trouble where they literally clearly can't put food on the table" says Andy "I think those statistics have gone up expeditiously over the last couple of years and it shows a real change. It's not just that food banks are springing up and therefore people are using them, it's demand driven. People are in need and increasingly so."

Yesterday, Salford Council voted in favour of a budget that passed on £23.4million of cuts. It included cutting support to some of the most vulnerable young and old people in the city, reducing Council Tax Benefit support and increasing rents on social homes.

At the Council meeting, Deputy Mayor David Lancaster declared that he was "ashamed that there are foodbanks here in Salford"…


* Central Salford Foodbank, run by the Trussell Trust, is open Tuesdays and Fridays 2-4pm.

* For enquiries contact the Trust on 07583 256787 or email info@salfordcentral.foodbank.org.uk

* For further details see the website – click here

* All food and supplies handed out are donated by local supermarkets or community collections. On Saturday 9th March there's going to be a public food collection at the new Tesco on Salford Precinct 10am-5pm where people can donate food.

wrote
at 1:06:18 PM on Sunday, March 3, 2013
Jim Hacka fails to realise mayor opposition names did pull a collective vote greater then that elected guy!
 
Jim Hacker wrote
at 1:04:36 PM on Saturday, March 2, 2013
Micheal Felse, please step down from your soap box, it's not the Mayoral candidates the mayor & council need to be listening to it's the people of Salford. As for your pledge to "not stand in any Salford election for 5 years" i don't wish to appear rude but i doubt that the mayor is shaking in his boots at the thought of any opposition at the ballot box, he knows just aswell as everyone else, the people of Salford will vote Labour come rain or shine, may i also point out the poor result the English Dem candidate got in Eastleigh the fact is people are sick of party politics what they want is representation. If you want to represent the people of Salford go independant and vote at council on your morals.
 
marcdeith'@hotmail.co.uk wrote
at 12:16:13 PM on Saturday, March 2, 2013
william cobbett wrote two centuries back" you can tell a lot about a country with a royal mint and a national debt" these cuts are taking many by suprise, they have been caught asleep whilst ruling elites attack, this is what happens when you do not organise and fight , lethargy apathy yields defeat. do it yourselves dont wait for unions labour party et al they will scupper you, the only people who can fight and win are yourselves.
 
Home to roost? wrote
at 12:16:01 PM on Saturday, March 2, 2013
Is this partly due to the cuts and all the money that the council have thrown at the orchestra,the bbc,the rugby club and that company who we dare not name (but it does have a certain A peel)? Going into partnerships with private enterprise and hoping that some benefit will filter down is not really much of a well thought out policy is it? What next? Maybe ex leader and ex mayor John Merry and Jim King driving round Lower Broughton in a Limo, as a latter day, Salford version of Juan and Eva Peron?
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 12:14:04 PM on Saturday, March 2, 2013
and I need to add, it is time to bury our hatchet on what has gone wrong, put politics aside and all pull together in reaching solutions. I urge Mayor Stewart to take up the previous call from Mr Paul Massey to get all we Mayoral candidates around the table for us to thrash out solutions. Let it be held in public, transparent and focus on Salford people living at risk. If Mr Mayor will do this collective approach I will pledge to not stand in any Salford election for 5 years, to show this is no political campaign but is an honest call to put in place the best ways to bring essential action.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 4:55:10 AM on Saturday, March 2, 2013
This is shameful in a City that at one end has the MediaCity booming in glittering silver while local communities are suffering in pain. It was all much predicted by all other parties than Labour when we were out campaigning at the Mayoral election. That prediction included the high borrowing PFi danger, an option to claw back Salford Labour glam projects where £millions could have helped local vulnerable people and we called for a halving of Councillors with that half million £ saving going instead into local needs support. I sincerely thank Salford food bank and all our other volunteers. Thank You.
 
Al Fourkem wrote
at 4:21:09 AM on Saturday, March 2, 2013
The taxpayer-robbers at salford clowncil do not care a stuff about salford people . They are far too busy stuffing their fat , greedy faces with OUR money .
 
not happy wrote
at 3:17:17 PM on Friday, March 1, 2013
Deputy Mayor David Lancaster declared that he was "ashamed that there are food banks here in Salford"…why he’s not going to use them, he doesn’t live in the land of austerity where he doesn’t have to the reduce his luxury and consumer goods he can go any where he wants and hold his head up. What he should do is not feel sorry for the people that use them but get the council to help them with there bills and stop the cuts that you and the labour council have imposed on the old, needy, vulnerable, which our elected Mayor put in his manifesto to help these people, or was this just a political ploy to get him voted in.
 
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