[C]OPELAND Council is highlighting its support for various groups helping the residents of Copeland.
The council provides regular funding in exchange for services in the community.
Copeland Citizens’ Advice receives £32,000 to help address the problems of hardship, debt and financial exclusion. It offers counselling and practical advice on a wide range of issues including Universal Credit, budgeting and welfare.
The council gives Cumbria Law Centre £15,000 annually to offer free legal advice and representation to those on the lowest incomes, focusing on housing, debt, employment and benefits.
Copeland Mayor, Mike Starkie, said: “As a council we think it’s important to support people through financial difficulties, and to make sure people have access to help, even if they are on a low income.
“The Service Level Agreements we have with these organisations mean we can get experts to deliver the services, leading to maximum value for money. The council also sometimes funds particular or one-off projects with these organisations.”
The council also funds certain organisations to promote the delivery of leisure and cultural facilities throughout the borough. Millom Recreation Centre receives £15,000, and Egremont Market Hall £12,885.
Mayor Starkie said: “This is to dovetail with what GLL already offers in Copeland, and reach areas that may not have ready access to existing GLL facilities.
“We also make some smaller grants to organisations that promote equality in Copeland. This is important to us and underpins our desire to make sure even vulnerable people can access support when needed.” To this end the Copeland Disability Forum receives £1,800 from the council, and Cumbria Awaz, which offers support to people from ethnic minorities, £2,000.
Mayor Starkie added: “These kind of grants and service level agreements aren’t always known about to lots of residents, but they are an important part of what we do and they help us fulfil our obligations to support the whole of the borough.”