Frank McEnaney, Welfare Rights Service Manager in Newcastle City Council, talked to the Pop Up Newsroom team on austerity and governmental cuts in social expenditure. "One of the major aims must be early intervention and prevention to try to prevent a crisis" stated McEnaney about the role of his department. With 21% of the city's residents among the 5% most deprived in England, Newcastle has been found to be ranked the 37th most deprived local area of 354 in the 2007 Indices of Deprivation.
"Financially, for some people, we can make a major difference in their lives" asserted McEnaney regarding social help. But this help is becoming harder to obtain: "to sign on for benefits you must supply evidence that for 30 hours a week you have been actively seeking employment".