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Croydon Council in funding u-turn

Croydon Council in funding u-turn
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Croydon Council in funding u-turn1

Finance | Vibeka Mair | 21 Sep 2010

Croydon Council has restored £72,000 in funding for two charities which were part of a cull in June that saw spending on the voluntary sector slashed by around 60 per cent by the council.

Under the council’s controversial move in June, Croydon Council slashed the number of charities it funded from 47 to a meagre six, who will receive up to £672,500 of funding annually, compared with the £1.2m previously disbursed.

The action sparked much protest and anger in the south London borough. In response, the Council has announced it has decided to restore funding for two groups: Croydon Accessible Transport and the Rape Crisis Centre, who will share £72,000.

The council has also proposed to establish a new small grants fund of £100,000 per annum from 2011 and a one-off transitional fund of £350,000 to give further help to those that miss out.

This is on top of the £392,590 of extended support given to previously funded groups until the end of December.

Council officers will be working with Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA), the local BME forum and other bodies to advise and support organisations who may need help finding other funding or may need to restructure or wind up their services. 

Councillor Vidhi Mohan said: "These proposals mark a significant change in the way the council supports third sector organisations in Croydon with a much greater emphasis on direct commissioning which mirrors changes nationally. It reflects the need for organisations becoming self-sustaining and less reliant on core funding from the public purse."

Reading Council consults on changes

Meanwhile, Reading Borough Council, which has ring-fenced funding to the voluntary sector till 2012, is consulting with the charity sector on changes to funding allocation.

Currently, charities apply for funding for the year ahead in a single annual grant round. The new proposal is to move to more flexible and frequent funding opportunities through the year.

The plans would see priority-need areas funded through a mixture of competitive tendering and bidding opportunities ring-fenced to the voluntary and community sector.

Mike Townend, lead councillor with responsibility for the voluntary sector in Reading, said: "There is a very active and committed voluntary and community sector here in Reading and I believe this review of the process of allocating the funding will help to channel their enthusiasm and energy to where it's needed most. I also think that many groups will see new opportunities and I encourage them to bring new and innovative ideas to the table."

Two meetings have been organised for voluntary sector organisations to hear about the proposals in more detail, share their views or ask any questions they may have.

The aim is to give organisations an indication of the new funding programme by the end of December this year, with the programme itself coming into effect in April next year.

Isabel Livingstone
Voice and Influence Co-ordinator
South West Forum
22 Sep 2010

Very good news. I wonder if this was in response to David Cameron's answer to a Parliamentary question last week when he urged local authorities not to save money by cutting voluntary sector funding http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/finance/news/content/7306/dont_cut_money_from_voluntary_bodies_pm_tells_local_authorities

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