Liverpool City Council have recently launched a budget consultation in which they propose to defund (effectively closing) the One Stop Shops in the region. The ‘shops’ are advice centres that help members of the community access support and services; from enabling people to access housing benefits, to providing advice on bin collections – the One Stop Shops are a vital centre for community aid. Some of the most vulnerable people in the area rely heavily on this in-person service and they will be catastrophically and profoundly harmed if this support-line (indeed, one of very few remaining) closes.
I think it is absolutely shameful that Liverpool City Council are wilfully risking the safety and security of community members at a time when reliance on such a service is likely to increase.
Liverpool City Council are in an extremely precarious position following a decade of brutal and brutalising austerity cuts, and while there are no easy choices, it seems to be the case that the most vulnerable members of our society should be priortised for protection – not the first on the chopping-block.
With this in mind, we would like the council to revise and reverse this decision as soon as possible. We also would like the council to offer assurances that One Stop Shops shall have their funding ringfenced and legally protected to give peace of mind to those in our community who are extremely distressed by the possibility that their last remaining lifeline is about to be cut.
(WISE-RA Secretary and proud resident of Liverpool)