Read our latest ‘news by numbers’ digest

Posted 30/11/2017

80: the number of homeless families or people placed in Bed and Breakfast accommodation by Reading Borough Council, as of end of October 2017, down from 144 at the start of the year. The reduction has been due to a range of measures, including intensive work with people to help them find more suitable accommodation from private landlords, given the current shortage of social housing. However the council warns that housing remains a challenge, especially with the upcoming rollout of Universal Credit which could affect the ability of Housing Benefit recipients to pay their rent.

4,500: the number of people in Reading that are drinking alcohol at levels that have already harmed their health or wellbeing, while an estimated 30,000 residents could be drinking at harmful levels. There are also an estimated 1,111 people in Reading who are regular heroin users. Just over half of these herion users engaged with specialist treatment during 2016-17, and almost 10% of these left treatment free of dependence, compared with 7% nationally. The stark figures are set out in a draft Reading  Drug and Alcohol Commisisoning Strategy. Reading Boorugh Council will soon ask people whether it agrees with its plans for tackling the problem, in a public consultation.

£149,000 : the amount being cut from Reading Borough Council spending on community services for 2018-2019. The figure is revealed in latest plans for RBC funding of local voluntary sector organisations, called ‘Narrowing the Gap II’.  In some cases the contracts will be jointly funded by Reading’s NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups. Charities will have to bid for contracts to provide support to specific groups of people, including:

  • People needing benefits, debt or money advice (£200,000 contract)
  • People with mental health needs (£161,000 – jointly funded with NHS)
  • People who act as carers (£95,00 – jointly funded with NHS)
  • Older people who are frail/isolated (£67,000)
  • People who have, or are at risk of, HIV (£45,000)
  • People in poverty needing help with basic needs, including Syrian refugees (£44,000)
  • People with learning disabiltiies (£40,000 contract)
  • People going home after a hospital stay (£34,000)
  • Women who need support with breastfeeding (£30,000)
  • Adults at risk of isolation because of language or cultural barriers: (£20,000)
  • People needing help into employment (£27,000)
  • People with dementia (£15,000)
  • People with a visual impairment (£15,000)
  • People with a hearing impairment (£15,000)
  • People with autism (£12,000)
  • People and families affected by MS (£12,000)
  • People and families affected by Parkinson’s Disease (£12,000)
  • Adults with a physical disability: (£12,000)

More general contracts are also available for organisations providing:

  • Support for voluntary organisations (£73,000)
  • Social prescribing (£66,000 – jointly funded with NHS)
  • Targeted information and advice and guidance for people with current or emerging care and support needs (£57,000)
  • Support for thriving neighbourhoods and communities (£45,000)
  • Support for marginalised communities (£40,000)

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