Children's charities hit by council cuts
More than 2,000 charities and community groups are facing budget cuts as local authorities reduce or cut their funding, according to new research.
The figures, obtained by anti-cuts campaign group False Economy, reveals that the voluntary sector will lose more than £110m in local authority funding this year.
Organisations that provide services for children and young people are the largest single group affected by the reductions, with £17 million out of the total of £110 million of cuts hitting more than 200 child-related charities and groups.
The responses from 265 local councils also showed that all charities and voluntary groups have had their funding cut by at least five per cent, with many losing one hundred percent of their funding.
The hardest hit in the voluntary sector are children and young people’s charities, with 382 organisations affected by funding cuts, followed by 151 disability-related charities.
Gedling Borough Council in the East Midlands has cancelled its Voluntary Services New Initiatives Fund, worth £5,600 in 2010/11. Pre-school grants are being cut from £2,600 to £1,500, and play scheme grants are being cut from £3,200 to £2,700.
In Camden, Greater London, the council is restructuring its voluntary sector grants programme with funding falling from £9,000,000 in 2010/11 to £6, 500,000 in 2011/12, a reduction of £2,500,000.
False Economy warns that, ‘Such cuts to organisations that provide vital services to older people and vulnerable children will increase pressure on the NHS and other statutory services.’
Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children, said, "Cuts to charities and community groups – many of whom are undertaking just the kind of early intervention Government says it wants - may seem to represent a notional saving in the short term, but these reductions in funding threaten to cost this country billions more in the long term with problems allowed to fester and become crises which will require costly intervention by specialist agencies down the line.
"That is why we are calling on government to ring-fence its £2 billion Early Intervention Grant, to ensure that money is spent on helping disadvantaged children and families to get the best future possible. The Government must take the lead in ensuring that the lives of children are not blighted by short-termism that will saddle this country with a legacy of both a massive bill and severe social consequences."
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