York groups helping children and young people face 50% cuts

ORGANISATIONS which help children and young people in York are facing grant cuts of up to 50 per cent as the Government’s spending cuts begin to bite.

A City of York Council report has revealed that the city is losing about £250,000 through the curtailing of the Early Intervention Fund (EIF), which helps vulnerable children aged five to 13, and the axing of York Youth Community Action Programme (YYCAP), which encourages volunteering among teenagers aged between 14 to 16.

As a result, officers are proposing to cut all grants given under the EIF scheme for this year by 25 per cent. They warn that payments due after August 26 under the YYCAP programme will not be arriving from central government, leaving some organisations in the programme, such as the Prince’s Trust, facing a shortfall of nearly 50 per cent. Others face lower shortfalls. Three organisations – York Boxing Club, the Running Wild nature scheme and York Council for Voluntary Service – will lose grants from both funds.

Coun Carol Runciman, the city council’s executive member for children and young people, will decide on September 14 whether to approve the officers’ actions. Labour group leader Coun James Alexander said the cuts would have a “huge impact”.

He said: “These groups include those supporting refugees and parents of children with disabilities. This is the real impact on the coalition’s cuts being felt here and now in York.”

YYCAP was one of five one-year pilot schemes running nationally.

Paul Murphy, assistant director of adults, children and education, said the projects involved had been working closely with the council to try to minimise the impact, which included possible job losses in the voluntary sector, and were hoping to find other funding to keep schemes going.

The organisations and schemes facing a 25 per cent cut in their EIF grants are: CANDI, which works with disabled children’s families; the Ethnic Minority Service; the Young Travellers’ Learning Project; nurture groups; parenting support in the voluntary sector; voluntary sector capacity building; Running Wild; Youth Inclusion Support Panel; York Council for Voluntary Services; the education project The Island; York Boxing Club; Young Carers; Independent Domestic Abuse Services and Refugee Action.