Have Your Say On Proposed Funding Cuts To Community Groups
Voluntary and community groups and people using their services are being encouraged to have their say on proposals to stop their grant funding.
Derby County Council currently grant more than £2.5m from their adult care budget to voluntary and community groups providing a range of services across the county to older and vulnerable people.
While some services must be provided by law (statutory services) others such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (non-statutory services) do not.
The council has been paying grants to dozens of community and voluntary organisations for more than 15 years and despite budget pressures they have so far been able to continue the payments in the last three years by using money from their reserves and from the Public Health Resource Fund.
However, proposals are now in place to change the way funding is given to groups and organisations due to year-on-year budget pressures resulting from cuts in the amount of money the DCC receive from central government.
In March their Cabinet agreed to hold a 12-week consultation in to proposals to stop funding to voluntary and community groups providing non-statutory services, and this has now been launched.
Non-statutory services include counselling for adults with relationship difficulties, bereavement services, furniture projects, voluntary action centres and exercise classes.
Groups and organisations providing non-statutory services and people who use them are now being encouraged to take part in the consultation and give their views on the proposals.
The groups will also have the opportunity to demonstrate they are offering services which contribute towards meeting our priorities and have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of local people.
The consultation runs until Sunday 24 July 2016 and you can give your views by filling in a questionnaire online or by writing, emailing or phoning for a paper copy of the questionnaire.
Voluntary and community groups have also been sent paper copies of the questionnaire which they can give out to people using their service, and can be returned in a pre-paid envelope.
If the cuts are approved by the Cabinet later this year some services currently receiving this funding may need to stop altogether, but no decisions have been made about that at this stage.
People using services are being advised to speak to the organisations providing them to ask what consequences they believe there will be if the cuts are agreed.
Some organisations also receive funding from NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), and a separate engagement is being held by the CCGs to gather people’s views about these services. Following this engagement, the CCGs will make their own decisions on future funding.
The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care Councillor Paul Smith said:
“We have been talking to dozens of groups and organisations across the county about the severe budget pressures facing the council and the need for some services to change.
“We don’t think we can continue to fund all these groups to the same level we have done in the past, especially if we don’t have a legal duty to do so, but we won’t make any decisions about this until we hear what the groups themselves and individuals have to say.
“We recognise the valuable work being carried out and ask that anyone using one of the affected services, and the groups and organisations themselves, take the time to give us their views during the consultation.
“We want as much information as possible from people about how any changes would affect them and the service they use so we have all the facts before we make the difficult decisions we’re faced with.”
Decisions on the proposals will be made by the Cabinet at a meeting in September 2016.
For a paper copy of the questionnaire people should:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- tel: 01629 533365
- or write to: Derbyshire County Council Stakeholder Engagement and Consultation Team Adult Care Derbyshire County Council County Hall Matlock DE4 3AG
5 thoughts on “Have Your Say On Proposed Funding Cuts To Community Groups”
There is a danger that these proposed reductions in funding support for voluntary groups are seen as a cause for blaming Derbyshire County Council. It is essential that all the groups affected remember that it is the huge cuts in council funding imposed by Osborne’s austerity obsessed Government which is grinding down what Derbyshire County Council is able to afford year after year and forcing these decisions on it. It also throws into a harsh light the stupid decision by Amber Valley Council to remove its community fund and cut Council tax by a quarter of a percent just when other sources of support for the voluntary sector are being crippled by the Government.
According to the “your Derbyshire” newspaper, Derbyshire County Council have had their budget from central Government cut by £170million this year. What are the Government doing with the money?
After looking again at “your Derbyshire” I think the £170 million cut in budget from central Government is since 2010.
Just a quick note that your readers may be interested in regarding the Amber Valley Community Fund as Maurice Neville refers to in his post.
When Labour set the fund up after their 2014 AVBC election victory they did not apply the fund to every Ward within Amber Valley, in fact of the 11 wards that would benefit from the community fund only 1 ward in Belper would benefit from their proposals, whereas every ward in Ripley and in Heanor would receive the fund. Funnily enough though, Labour had an elected member to that said Belper Ward in 2014.
Now am I just being cynical but the breakdown of the wards that were allocated community funding look pretty one sided to me because, of the 11 wards the Community Fund went to, there were 22 Labour Members and only 2 Conservative Members represented in those wards.
Surely If Labour were that committed to providing a Community Fund then they should have applied it to every single ward across the whole of the Borough and not just those wards where they hold strong political representation.
Austerity is a deliberate choice. I would also expect CCGs to cut down on services they help to fund. They are the working arm of Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, plan to privatise the NHS. A point I made in an earlier comment on Nailed “The NHS and the country is now split into 44 regional areas – known as “footprints”. Each footprint has been ordered to produce a plan by 30th June this year to completely change the way the NHS works. Footprint Boards have to prove they can clear their debts within a year. And how do they do that? They cut more services, close more beds, sell off land and hospitals that are public assets. I think, but don’t know, that this may have some relevance to the planned closure of our much needed Babington hospital.” This being the case they are hardly likely to fund voluntary services!
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