Unexplained dip in DHP funding to have 'devastating' impact, says Broxtowe council leader
Broxtowe Borough Council is fighting for more funds after being allocated less than usual to help support people in times of crisis.
The council has seen its allocation for Discretionary Housing Payments reduce from £149,480 during 2020/21 to just £88,387 for this year.
The unexplained dip in funds from the government has caused concern for council leader Milan Radulovic, who says the money is needed now more than ever after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “We have a great deal of concerns.
"A number of people are going to be made redundant and this will have a devastating impact on our communities.
“A discretionary housing payment is one way we can help people get sorted and settled into affordable accommodation.”
The council leader said there seems to be ‘no logic’ to the reduction in funding, with the council spending almost all of its allocated funds last year.
“We seem to have been singled out and we can’t understand why,” he added.
"There doesn’t seem to be any logic or sense attached to the criteria. It’s only August and we’ve already allocated £77,000 of the £88,000 we’ve been given.
“We can’t understand why it wasn’t based on last year’s turnout – £139,00 we spent last year. An awful lot of people rely on DHP and without it they are going to be running straight into debt again.”
The council leader suspects there may be a mistake being made due to the confusion around the constituency boundaries.
He said: “We always seem to get poorly treated in Broxtowe and I’ve always said it’s because of the constituency boundaries.
"They class Broxtowe as being Broxtowe constituency and not Broxtowe plus Eastwood and Brinsley. So our deprivation statistics are marked down as lower than they should be.
“When you look at the Eastwood and Brinsley situation, Eastwood in particular, it distorts our figures.
“I think this is a mistake that they continually make and I’ve been pointing it out over the years. But they never seem to do anything about it.
“It’s one of the arguments we’re going to use for changing the constituency boundaries. It’s more reflective of the needs of the area that Eastwood and Brinsley are included in the Broxtowe statistics.”
The council leader has joined forces with Broxtowe MP Darren Henry to write to the government and appeal for more funding.
Mr Henry said: "I echo the concerns raised by the local authority about the need for Discretionary Housing Payments to be readily available during this turbulent time.
"I am deeply concerned about the drop in the level of funding that Broxtowe Borough Council has received.
“I would implore government to reconsider the level of funding provided to make it comparable with the amount provided in previous years.”