Cuts to community grants – updated!

***UPDATED*** Great that Argyll and Bute Council at its meeting on 22nd February preserved Third Sector grants and that this was supported by both party groupings.  Very tough decisions had to be made but it does mean our vital community and third sector can continue to support local communities.  The challenges will continue for the time being though as the HSCP wrestles with £11.4m of cuts…

 

It is unfortunately that time of year again where yet again our local public services are under severe pressure.  I worked in local government for ten years and before that (twenty years ago) I was an elected councillor but I cannot remember such a sustained period of budget pressure for our valued local services. 

Argyll and Bute council is considering its budget on 22nd February 2024 and there are proposed cuts to third sector and community grants.  You can see the proposals on page 43 of the council budget pack

Having been contacted by a concerned group we have over the past week been highlighting the negative impact to decision makers – and we know they have some tough decisions to make.  Our representations on the amalgamation and then subsequent cut of the grant consists of the following main points:-

  • By amalgamating the Third Sector Education Grants into one funding pot there is a risk of losing the specialist children and family provision that this grant supports
  • The proposed year two reductions and subsequent cut will mean that early years services will struggle to get funding as many groups will be chasing the same funding pots
  • Children and families provision in Argyll and Bute is already patchy as because of our geographical spread economies of scale are not possible
  • The savings proposal will result in services closing and a loss of the external funding for Argyll and Bute that is also generated
  • This budget supports working families in Argyll and Bute – a group that we need as we have a reducing working age population.

As I understand it the grants are protected this year but will be reduced to zero over the next three years.  We have asked for more representations from affected groups and hope that councillors are able to identify other savings that do not have such a negative impact on young families.

    Author Takki Sulaiman

    Part of All Our Children, CEO Updates, Funding News, General News
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