Austerity Issues & Impact

Sefton CVS has set up this page providing up to date reports on commentators such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Shelter, blogs and think pieces from policy and social commentators. Additionally, we will provide listings of events and interesting keynote speeches delivered by local leaders.

What is happening in Sefton?

A partnership group comprising representatives from Sefton Council, One Vision Housing, Sefton CVS, Sefton CAB and Job Centre Plus are working together to look at measures in relation to the impacts of welfare reform. This includes developing a joint action plan and partnership arrangement to look at the following key areas:

  • Influencing policy and strategy
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Developing Foodbanks in localities in partnership with the Trussell Trust and local faith, community and voluntary sector groups.
  • Digital inclusion
  • Providing training and information in communities and with practitioners about Welfare Reform, what are the changes and impacts. Sefton CAB are leading this piece of work and providing information sessions.
  • Furniture recycling and electrical goods provision to address emergency and crisis situations.
  • Options to develop clothing exchanges -new and second hand.
  • Information made available for referral and knowledge of multi-agency services which can be accessed by practitioners and partners

In order to support partnership working with regards to mitigating the impact of welfare changes, Sefton CVS would like to gather information about the work organisations are currently doing that is supporting people/families at risk, or experiencing poverty. This will support in gaining a greater understanding of the work currently being carried out, current trends in the support being requested and in identifying where there are gaps in support across the borough. Please take a few minutes to complete this very short questionnaire to support us with this and return to [email protected]

The VCF Networks and Forums are receiving presentations and updates on local actions relating to welfare reform. If you want to know more, please follow on this page or contact Angela White on 0151 920 0726 or email [email protected]


Sefton CAB will be hosting a series of welfare reform workshops. For more information, please contact Sefton CAB on 0151 282 5650.

Wednesday June 26th: CLES Summit 2013: an economy for all

Addresses / Speeches

Two bishops spoke in the House of Lords on 19th March.

The Rt Revd Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester and the Rt Revd John Packer, Bishop of Ripon & Leeds spoke to amendments that they had tabled and co-sponsored to the Government’s Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill.

See below for links to the bishops’ contributions and ministerial responses.

Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill – Amendment 1

The Bishop of Leicester spoke in support of an amendment that he had co-sponsored, which sought to prevent the Bill from introducing a 1% up-rating cap on a range of social security benefits for three years. Inviting those Peers who were vocal advocates of the Bill to visit Leicester to explain and defend its provisions to people who would be affected by it, the bishop argued that the Bill was both unnecessary and ill-conceived and that unamended it would harm the most vulnerable in society and do nothing to promote work incentives. Full text of speech available here.

Baroness Stowell of Beeston concluded the debate on behalf of the government. Her comments together with those of other peers available here.

The Bishops of Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Leicester, Ripon & Leeds voted content to the amendment (in Lord McKenzie of Luton’s name). The result of the vote was Contents: 206 Not Contents: 275. Government Win.

Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill – Amendment 2

The Bishop of Ripon & Leeds moved and spoke in support of amendments that would exempt child-related benefits from the 1% up-rating cap. He explained that the amendments were designed to halt the disproportionately negative effects of the Bill on children and their welfare. Full text of speeches available here and here.

Lord Newby concluded the debate on behalf of the government. His comments together with those of other peers are available here.

The Bishops of Bristol, Derby, Leicester, Ripon & Leeds and St Edmundsbury & Ipswich voted content to the Bishop of Ripon & Leeds’s amendment. The result of the vote was Contents: 221 Not Contents: 261 Government Win.

On January 18th, Liverpool hosted the “Come Together” conference, a meeting of Faith and council leaders from England’s biggest cities to discuss how to tackle Government cuts in the fairest way possible. The conference heard from civic leaders conveying a strong collective argument as to how the cuts are being felt across communities. We also heard from faith leaders, including Bishop James Jones who opened the conference. Bishop James pledged to raise the unfairness of the situation in the House of Lords and ask government to review the basis and allocation of council cuts.