Redcar Labour MP, Anna Turley, yesterday asked local government minister Greg Clark about the Troubled Families programme and whether cuts to welfare and local government had exacerbated the problems faced by disadvantaged families.
In a Communities and Local Government debate in the House of Commons Anna asked:
“What has the increase been in the number of families who have met the troubled families assessment criteria since the programme began?
“Has the Minister made any assessment of the impact of his Government’s £12 billion of welfare cuts and of his swingeing local authority cuts on already struggling families who need joined-up local support?”
In reply Mr Clark made reference to a statement made by the Prime Minister last week in which he claimed ‘almost all of the 117,000 families which the programme started working with have now been turned around’. However Mr Clark did not respond to Anna’s question on the impact of cuts to support for disadvantaged families.
Jonathan Portes, head of the National Institute of Social and Economic Research, has questioned the validity of the government’s assertion on the success of the programme given that the findings of the official evaluation are yet to be published.
In her time working at the Cabinet Office under the last Labour government Anna helped to develop the successful forerunner to the Troubled Families Programme and so is passionate about tackling social exclusion. She will continue to hold the government to account on the support available for disadvantaged families.