The Social Fund at a local level: notes for and from practitioners

August 2012

This report focuses on issues and key considerations for English local authorities in developing a local social fund replacement scheme. Based on roundtable discussions with practitioners in London, Darlington, Newcastle, Leicester and Stockport, the report presents key concerns and potential solutions currently being discussed by councils.

It also provides an analysis of the cuts made to support available through the social fund. Based on a sample of 12 authorities, the average reduction in funding for the social fund replacement schemes between 2011/12 and 2013/14 will be 13.9%, rising to 15.6% in 2014/15. While Local Authorities received around 20% on top for administration many worry that this amount combined with start up grants as low as around £4,000, would not adequately cover the costs of developing and implementing an entirely new scheme by April 2013.

The aim of this report is to share discussions and learnings between authorities.