Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Council set to cut funding for volunteer groups?

Next month, the City Council will be asking the public about its 2010/11 budget where cuts of £1.053 million are planned (see news story) - and funds for the area's many voluntary organisations will be under close scrutiny to se if savings can be made.

“Voluntary work is vital but often invisible in our community, says Lancaster District Council for Voluntary Service’s acting chief officer Bill Livesey, who is asking everyone to speak up for our voluntary groups. "Many of our voluntary groups are running amazing services on a shoestring and we hope local people will show they value this work.

“Small grants go a very long way in the voluntary sector, cutting them only offers a false economy and will be creating a long term cost to Lancaster.”

Lancaster CVS’s snapshot survey of 219 member groups carried out in summer this year showed us that Lancaster area has over 13,400 volunteers, giving over 700,000 volunteer hours a year helping our community. If they were being paid, it would be the equivalent to £4,200,000.

Major budget cuts to local voluntary groups would threaten this – and would be a major loss for Lancaster. Even though much work is voluntary, groups still need some funding. For example to co-ordinate a large team of volunteers and ensure they have the training and support they need.

• For more information about the consultation contact Tel: 01524 582268

Lancaster District Council for Voluntary Service web site

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