Council launches probe

Barnsley Council has launched its first investigation to examine what impact the current difficult economic environment and ongoing benefit cuts will have on the town.

The probe will be led by the Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Commission after a meeting at the start of the month saw a number of representatives discuss how people were coping with the current financial difficulties.

Members of the commission now want to find out just how much the public know about changes to the benefit system and what impact they think these changes will have on them.

In particular, commission is especially keen to find out what the impact will be on families with children and whether this could create further pressures on already limited incomes and put more families at risk of moving into poverty.

Chair of the commission, Councillor Margaret Sheard, said: “The commission has been really keen to look at this particular issue as the changes to the benefit system are far reaching and could have a devastating affect on many people’s lives.

“It is particularly worrying that more and more people are facing the difficulties of managing increasing debts whilst their incomes, either through the current economic situation or benefit reductions are being significantly reduced.

“The commission wants to see how bad things actually are in Barnsley and to fully understand the problems people are facing.”

The commission will be concluding the investigation on October 10 and will submit their conclusions to the council’s cabinet.

Any member of public who would like to express a view on the investigation should contact Lesley Glanville on 01226 773078.