Devon County Council’s plans to stop funding a homelessness prevention service in Exmouth have been condemned by a local councillor.

The county council is currently consulting on proposals to end its contract with Alexandra House in Exmouth, which gives supported accommodation to people at risk of homelessness.

It’s part of a cost-cutting exercise that would remove around £1.5 million in funding to various hostels and other services across Devon for vulnerable adults. Alexandra House currently receives nearly £108,000 per year.

Devon County Council said it can no longer afford to pay for the services and will instead increase spending in other areas that support vulnerable children, young people and adults. The homelessness prevention services fall outside the council’s statutory (compulsory) adult social care responsibilities.

But many councilllors are against the cuts. Independent Exmouth town and district councillor Joe Whibley said: ''Alexandra House provides an incredibly important service to the community, helping people to help themselves. We're starting to see the effects of Devon County's funding problems hit real people in real, desperate situations, in a county where other social care services are also struggling to cope. and it's not good enough.

“If this funding withdrawal reduces service, it will ultimately put more pressure on East Devon District Council's already overwhelmed homelessness team. Central government needs to recognise that district and county councils need a fairer funding arrangement to deliver effective local services.”

Cllr Jess Bailey, (Independent, Otter Valley) told Radio Exe’s Devoncast podcast: “I think it’s the worst possible time and, as a member of the [county council’s] health and adult care scrutiny committee, I will be looking very closely at these proposals. I’m strongly opposed to them and I think it’s removing funding from our most vulnerable residents.

“I’m very disappointed that the county council cannot apparently find the money for our most vulnerable residents and I think, in terms of health inequality, we need to find a way of supporting these people and continuing with that funding.”

The consultation runs until Wednesday, April 19, and can be found on the county council’s website