charities facing £110 mln in funding cuts
Last Updated : GMT 13:03:42
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Arab Today, arab today

Charities facing £110 mln in funding cuts

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Charities facing £110 mln in funding cuts

London - AFP

Charities and voluntary groups are facing budget cuts totalling at least £110 million because of reductions in local government funding, according to a new study. Some groups are having funding withdrawn altogether, the study of councils across England by anti-cuts website False Economy showed.More than 2,000 charities and community groups will be hit, according to Freedom of Information responses to the campaign group from local councils across England.Many of the charities facing cuts deal with disabled people, children, the elderly and adult care, False Economy said.\"These cuts go deep into the voluntary and community sectors,\" the group\'s campaign director, Clifford Singer, said.\"These are not just nice to have groups but organisations providing vital services for older people trying to maintain independent lives, vulnerable children and abused women.\"With so many of the cuts simply resulting in further pressure on the NHS or other statutory services, they are truly a false economy.The group said the cuts have so far affected 112 charities which carry out adult care charities, 142 that are elderly-related, 382 helping children’s and young people and 151 focussing on disability.TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: \"These deep cuts to voluntary groups across the UK show that government claims that charities can replace direct services currently provided by central or local government are false. It sounds great, but in practice the Big Society is looking more and more like a big con.\"Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: \"The severity of cuts to council budgets means savings are having to be made across the board and unfortunately funding to charities, voluntary organisations and community groups is not exempt.\"\"Even where local authorities have had to reduce the amount of money they give to charities, they are working to help them plug the gap by providing advice and support with services such as project planning, human resources and media promotion.\"Earlier this year, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he would consider new legislation banning councils from making deep cuts to charities if they failed to heed his call for restraint.“We have reasonable expectations of how local authorities will conduct themselves,” The Times quoted him in March as saying. “It is reasonable to expect that councils will not pass on disproportionate cuts to local voluntary and community groups.”A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: \"The government has provided a fair and progressive funding settlement for councils that protect frontline services and shield the most vulnerable.\"Councils have challenging decisions to make around how they prioritise spending but the government is clear that councils must resist any temptation to pass on disproportionate savings to the voluntary sector.\"False Economy said the final total of net funding reductions is likely to be far higher given that some large authorities have not yet finalised where the cuts will hit.The organisation is still awaiting responses from a number of major authorities, including Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and Westminster.

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