Have your say on cuts

Voluntary and community groups who face losing their funding as the council looks for ways to save cash are being urged to speak up.

Thursday, 7th July 2016, 10:56 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 6:10 pm
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Dozens of organisations and groups have already taken part in a consultation organised by Derbyshire County Council to find out how any changes would affect people and the services they use.

But the authority still wants to hear from more and is urging people to get their views in before the consultation ends on July 24.

The council currently grants more than £2.5million from its adult care budget to voluntary and community groups providing a range of services across the county to older and vulnerable people.

Some services must be provided by law (statutory services) but there are others the council doesn’t have a duty to provide (non-statutory services).

Due to cuts in the amount of money the council receives from central Government and pressure on services, it’s having to look at changing the way it gives funding to groups and organisations in the future.

The cabinet member for adult social care Councillor Paul Smith said: “We want as much information as possible about how any changes would affect people and the service they use so we have all the facts before we make the difficult decisions we’re faced with. We’ve been talking to dozens of groups and organisations across the county about the severe budget pressures facing the council and the need for some services to change.

“We don’t think we can continue to fund all these groups to the same level we have done in the past, especially if we don’t have a legal duty to do so, but we won’t make any decisions about this until we hear what the groups themselves and individuals have to say.”

He added: “We recognise the valuable work being carried out and ask that anyone using one of the affected services, and the groups and organisations themselves, take the time to give us their views during the consultation.”

The council has been paying grants to dozens of community and voluntary organisations for more than 15 years and despite budget pressures the authority has been able to continue the payments in the last three years by using money from its reserves and from the Public Health Resource Fund.

In March the council’s cabinet agreed to hold a 12-week consultation in to proposals to stop funding to voluntary and community groups providing non-statutory services. It is due to make a decision on the proposals in September.