Decision details

Local Assistance Network (LAN) - AH12 (18/19)

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adults and Health

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


As part of the Council’s budget proposals consideration has been given to aims and responsibilities underpinning the Council’s expenditure.  In September 2018 the Cabinet Member decided to consult on the implications of proposals for a reduction in the Local Area Assistance (LAN) budget from £807,000 to £200,000 per annum. 

The LAN is a discretionary grant provided to support individuals in times of short term crisis and hardship.  It is delivered through a partnership with voluntary sector agencies which provide assistance, very largely on an ‘in kind’ basis


The scheme was launched in 2013 when funding for discretionary welfare provision was transferred from the benefits system to local government and ‘ring fenced’ for this purpose.  The ‘ring fence’ was removed in 2015 and since then funding must be drawn from the Council’s base budget. 


In October WSCC began a stakeholder engagement exercise in order to gather views regarding changes to the service in the light of a proposed reduction to the LAN budget from April 2019.  This process has informed the proposals that are now being put forward to restructure the investment within a revised financial envelope. These proposals prioritise investment that support Council Statutory duties and provide relief to individuals in the most immediate crisis. The remaining investment is used to offer some strategically targeted support that will enable the providers to make best use of other options to access alternative resources.


In summary the revised allocation will continue the existing level of allocation to the food banks and Children and Family Centres and make a reduced contribution to the Citizens Advice offer and social enterprise providers.



The Cabinet Member for Adults and Health has approved a reduction in the budget for the LAN from £807,000 to £200,000 per annum from 2019/20 onwards together with a remodelling of the remaining service that:


  • Maintains support to Children and Family Centres that deliver the Council’s statutory duties to provide an early help offer.  Ensuring that the remaining offer is targeted.
  • Maintains support to foodbanks targeting individuals and families with the highest level of need.
  • Reduces the contribution to Citizens Advice, recognising that the Council provides other funding to this service, but accepting the importance of maintaining a specific targeted LAN offer focused on locally based ‘face to face’ services to the CA’s which already has extensive locations across the County.
  • Reduces the contribution to social enterprises.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Publication date: 18/12/2018

Date of decision: 18/12/2018

Effective from: 02/01/2019

Accompanying Documents: