#Local Government
Nottinghamshire County Council
United Kingdom

The proposal by Nottinghamshire County Council to reduce the amount of grant aid support to the voluntary and community sector across the county by 66% flies in the face of David Cameron’s statement to a commons question on how the government proposed to support local voluntary organisations:

“We should say to every single council in the country: ‘When it comes to looking at and trimming your budgets, don't do the easy thing, which is to cut money to the voluntary bodies and organisations working in our communities. Look at your core costs. Look at how you can do more for less. Look at the value for money you get from working with the voluntary sector.”

Fiona Simpson (Chief Executive of NAVO) said “The voluntary sector in Nottinghamshire is very realistic of the need to trim budgets but the proposed £1.37 million of cuts to over 120 groups and organisations in Nottinghamshire will have a devastating effect on a sector which supports the most disadvantaged people in our communities”.

The impact of this proposal will remove the safety net that the voluntary sector provides, bringing to an end services which support women and children experiencing domestic violence, homeless young people, activities for older people and the advice and information services so valued by people living on low incomes provided by welfare rights and CAB.

Mr Cameron sees volunteering as central to the success of the big society, however, by removing 66% of funding to the sector, the opportunity to volunteer with trusted and professional established services will be severely reduced.

Faced with the challenges that small voluntary groups will face as a result of these proposals the usual creativity of the voluntary sector will be crushed at a time when the demand for their services will be at an all time high. This will have serious repercussions for the most vulnerable citizens of Nottinghamshire.

Sarah Collis ( Director of Self Help Nottingham) said:
“We have a grave concern about the lack of consistency and joined up thinking within the county council. Service reviews appear to have been undertaken in isolation from complementary departments within the county council with some blatant contradictions in the priority being put on particular voluntary sector services. For instance, the Adult Social Care Service review is proposing massive cuts to the VCS including services across the county for women and children experiencing domestic violence, yet the Communities Department has highlighted Domestic Violence services as something which must be protected.

For many groups working with vulnerable children and adults, the cost of safeguarding checks has to be met somehow, the group which provides befriending and support to an older person who is unable to get out of the house needs to be able to pay volunteers expenses for travelling and the cost of training and supporting those volunteers comes with a price tag.”

We, the undersigned, call on Nottinghamshire County Council to reconsider its proposals to cut voluntary sector grants by 66% and instead consult with local voluntary and community groups on how to maintain efficient and cost-effective frontline services in what are difficult and uncertain circumstances.

The Stop Nottinghamshire County Council cuts to voluntary sector grants petition to Nottinghamshire County Council was written by Kevin Cooper and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.