Voluntary and community sector funding to be reduced more slowly

Reductions in the amount that Crawley Borough Council gives to the voluntary and community sector will be tapered over two years following a government grant.

The council’s finances have been hit hard by the economic impact of coronavirus so significant savings to mitigate the impact on the budget have been agreed.

However, the government has given every local authority a Lower Tier Services Grant so the council has decided to use some of this to taper the reductions in grants over the next two financial years.

This means that the reduction will total £120,000 in 2021/22 and £212,000 in 2022/23. The total budget was £632,000 in 2020/21. All groups will be supported over the next 12 months, with the council developing a personalised transition plan for each group to help them modernise, make efficiencies and improve processes.

A final decision on grant allocations to individual organisations will be made in March.

Crawley Borough Council currently spends more in this area than the other districts and borough councils in West Sussex. The council’s biggest ever consultation, during which 1,200 residents gave their views on potential service changes, showed that only 36 per cent of residents disagreed with reviewing the support the council gives to the community and the voluntary sector.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said: “No one wants to make these cuts, but Covid-19 has decimated the council’s main income sources right when we have to invest to attract new employment to the area and help struggling families.

 “We are doing everything we can to limit the impact of cuts and where new funding is made available, such as in this case, scaling-back or reversing them.”

 Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of the Opposition, said: “This welcome additional funding from the government will help to cushion the savings being made to our very generous grants budget and enable affected organisations to adjust more easily as they plan for the future.”

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