Monday, 13 February 2012

Nottinghamshire cuts – what’s the story? (Part 2)

Further to my previous blog regarding Nottinghamshire County Council cuts to the VCS, Notts County Council have now released a press statement in response to the letter from Eric Pickles:

Councillor Martin Suthers, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Deputy Leader, said: “We have had to make difficult decisions with our budget due to reduced Government grants and increasing demand for a number of critical services we carry out including adults’ and children’s social care.

“The Council’s voluntary sector grant aid funding reduction for 2011/12 was around a third of the funding available in 2010/12, which is proportionate to the reduction in our Government grant over a three-year period from 2011/12.

“We are planning no further reductions over the next two years and are introducing three-year grants where possible to give these organisations more stability.

“We are working with local voluntary groups to help them make the most of their grants and find the necessary savings whilst protecting their frontline service.

"The Council has also made it easier for groups to apply and use grant aid to allow them to get on with the job by cutting bureaucracy and red tape.

“We have and are continuing to follow Government guidance by giving the sector three months notice prior to any grant changes.”

My comments will surprise no-one:

  1. If you are being cut by 34% over three years (I actually think the figure is 28% but hey-ho and happy to be corrected) then why pass on the cut in a single year to the VCS?
  2. By definition of the above alone then I do not believe you are following Government guidance; and finally
  3. As you are cutting funding to local support and development organisations by 100% over two years then how will you successfully ‘work with local voluntary groups to help them make the most of their grants’ when by April 2012 your investment in local infrastructure will be £0?

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