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Voluntary organisations wait for £100,000 grant cut news from Gloucester City Council

By citizenmike  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

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Kids enjoy Play Gloucestershire fun

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CHARITIES and organisations partly funded by Gloucester City Council will find out next month if their grant support will get the chop or not.

Council bosses are eyeing up a £100,000 cut in the budget for supporting the voluntary and community sector as part of widespread across the board worth some £3.86million over the next two years.

A heated budget meeting is expected to take place on February 27 when councillors will thrash out the details.

But, in the meantime, charities and organisations who rely on the council’s financial support have a waiting game on their hands.

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Play Gloucestershire, which provides activities for disadvantaged children in areas such as Matson, Kingsholm and Podsmead, has received funding for three years. In 2012/13 they were given £7,622 to run their activities.

Director of play Pip Levett said: “We are deeply concerned about these proposals. Support for disadvantaged children will not be protected by these cuts.

“If we lose our funds the work we have done over the past three years in disadvantaged parts of Gloucester will just stop. It is upsetting for the kids who love what we do and it has come at a bad time for families who rely on our services.

“We feel that children and young people are being disproportionately affected by cuts all round. It is easy to cut the services for people who are able to vote.”

Rates and services charges paid to five organisations are also likely to be chopped. They include £47,380 for the Gloucester Law Centre, £44,583 for the Citizen's Advice Bureau, £7,536 for the Gloucestershire Domestic Violence Support and Advocacy Project, £37,246 for Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action and £4,927 for the Chinese Women’s Guild.

Norman Gardner, bureau manager for the Gloucester and District Citizens Advice Bureau, said there was no guarantee that their services could continue and admitted that the cut would be ‘difficult to fill’.

In 2012/13, some 32 organisations received a total of £429,670 in grants between them.

Vanessa Worrall, project manager at the Together in Matson community group, which received £12,000 this year, said the project would be forced to close if they lost their funding.

She said: “It would be a real shock to our community because we wouldn’t be here to support them.”

All grants will come to an end in March – and every organisation will have to fight for a smaller pot of money if they want to continue receiving the council’s support.

Councillor Jennie Dallimore, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “A wide range of groups and clubs are funded from one pot which expires in March 2014.

“I think it is important to show how much support we give to the voluntary and community sector. The current budget is £600,000 and this is by far the most generous in the county.

“It is not a comfortable decision to make but it is one that has to be made.”

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