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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Voluntary sector facing cuts

Having spoken with a number of organisations operating in the voluntary sector (some of whom are clients), one clear message keeps coming through as they plan from the coming years.

They all expect cuts in their core funding, and the disappearance of funding for new projects. With something like £4m being cut from the total budget for the voluntary sector any pay rises are having to be funded out of existing resources.

But that is just the first part of it.

The removal of the ring-fencing of central grant funding by Government has resulted in the Comhairle similarly removing the local ring fence. As one very senior Councillor told me this weekend - this will have a potentially huge impact of the discretionary funding currently provided, and that those who were most supportive of the removal of ring-fencing will be the ones to scream loudest when it affects their ward or pet project.

The voluntary sector can suddenly no longer rely on grants being at the same level - or even receiving any grant at all - and this is going to have a huge impact on the sector.

It is not so much the need to bid for funding and to change the way that the voluntary sector thinks, but the combined effect of all the factors coming into play at once.

It is going to take a lot of work for all parties to ensure that the impact is minimised - and make no mistake, there is going to be a huge impact - and that the numerous beneficiaries do not become innocent victims in all of this.

The 'blame game' between central and local Government is already starting, but that doesn't help anyone who relies on these services.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bad news for the voluntary sector, and the first casualty is likely to be the excellent 'Choose life' project run by VAL. This is an innovative project that has featured in the national press, yet the clowns at the Comhairle have chosen to sacrifice this to save their own skins. What a pity that the dead wood, dead beat costly senior officers are not being cleared out first. Time for some serious scrutiny of what these cnes officers actually deliver.

Anonymous said...

6.31pm

Here, here!

Johan said...

Can I make a suggestion? There are many millions of pounds lying around in the bank accounts of a number of Lewis organisations...

The churches in particular on Lewis have significant amounts of wealth. Search on Lewis on the database of Scottish charities.

If they opened up and invested more in voluntary sector, community and local small business developments, this would help tremendously. It would also give the churches some credibility as organisations that help their communities, rather than (their current image) just dictate to locals what they should do.

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that Cooncillors baulked from a recent proposal to savage Social Work Department and divvy it up between Education and Sustainable Communities ( now theres a laugh!)
Pity help us if the wasters in Suss Comm ever get their greedy hands on the care of the elderly.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.31- wasn't that precisely what the Chief Executives "on and on and ongoing neverending useless review" was supposed to do, all those years ago?
So where are we now- front line staff and those at the lower end of the pay scales being shafted, while senior staff and their spouses\colleagues\and the favoured few cavort about on endless sprees to the mainland,at our expense.

eyoop said...

Whatever those in the rarefied heights at the Comhairle do in the end, we can be sure that they will exercise the same incompetence with which they've handled the w******* fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Those at the dizzy heights with big fat salaries, big fat pensions and options of early retirement will make sure that they protect their own corners whilst everything else that is necessary grinds to a halt around them. They will then blame the SNP government for forcing these cuts onto them.

Anonymous said...

johan - speaking as a Christian, yes they should do even more for the secular charities, however this does not mitigate the fact that they should not HAVE to do so!