THE boss of a charity which provides support and help for carers has said redundancies will need to be made after their council funding was cut in half.

Herefordshire Council will cut its funding to Herefordshire Carers Support from £275,000 to £137,000 from April 1.

The charity receives funding from other sources but the council money is the largest contribution by far and staff cuts to the 16 employed is now expected.

Director Jacqui Bremner said they knew there was going to a be a decrease in funding and they have been working to diversify their services, but they did not realise how much would be lost at such short notice.

She said: “It was on January 19 they told us which didn’t give us much time to try and sort out what we might be doing.

"I have been trying to understand what service would be available for carers since.”

The group provides information, advice, self-help groups and one-to-one support to 5,000 carers on their register, but estimates that there are 20,000 unpaid carers in Herefordshire.

Ms Bremner said that they are the “unpaid” workforce and if they decided that they could no longer provide support and care, the responsibility would be left with health and social care authorities.

Ian Stead, a trustee of the group, told a Herefordshire Clinical Commissioning Group meeting last week that the work of the carers they support "amounts to a significant saving for the council”.

He told the meeting the cut would have a “devastating” effect on the ability to provide a comprehensive service.

Ms Bremner said the heath system and the social care system need to work together to put together a strategy for the future.

Hazel Braund, director of operations at the CCG, told Mr Stead that the council has asked the CCG to help them co-produce a strategy for carers, which they are currently working on.

The council said it is already working in partnership with the county’s carers to produce a countywide carer’s strategy, which will help to mitigate against any possible negative impact of the budget reductions. The council said it needs to make cuts as the government reduces its funding to councils.

Councillor Patricia Morgan, cabinet member for adults and wellbeing, said: “We are very conscious of the central role played by carers in ensuring a good quality of life for their loved ones across the county.

“The strategy offers the opportunity for us to work closely with carers of all ages to better understand their needs and identify ways in which they can be confident they’re able to access the support they need from their local community.”

For 2017/18, 35.7 percent of the council’s budget will be spent on the adults and wellbeing directorate, which for 2017/18, equates to £51.158m from the overall council budget of £145.025m.

Herefordshire Carers Support is asking for unregistered carers to call 01432 356068 or, alternatively, to email