Vulnerable children will be hit by drastic cuts to funding from London Councils

The most vulnerable children and young people in the capital will suffer as a result of London Councils’ decision to cut funding to more than 200 voluntary organisations by 63.5 per cent, charities have warned.

At a meeting this week, London Councils’ leaders committee rubberstamped plans to cut the London Councils’ London Boroughs Grant Scheme from £26.4m to £9.9m. The money saved from this move will be “repatriated” to individual councils but will not be ringfenced.

Outside the meeting protesters from the organisations funded under the scheme held a demonstration against the decision.

Peter Lewis, chief executive of the London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC), said: “Some of London’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people will suffer as a consequence of this huge cutback in voluntary and community services that support them. LVSC will however strive to work with London Councils to try to make the best of this decision in relation to transitional funding. We also want London boroughs to ringfence the repatriated money for the voluntary and community sector.”

The charities affected by the decision include 21 projects delivering a range of interventions for children and young people, who stand to lose a total of £1.4m from April 2011. Also, nine groups delivering services aimed at reducing crime, 51 arts groups delivering programmes to enhance involvement in cultural activity and 22 groups tackling homelessness are among the other victims.

The remaining £9.9m will be handed out to certain charities until the scheme ends in March 2012.

Chair of London Councils’ leaders committee Mayor Jules Pipe said: “Borough leaders have agreed a managed transition when it comes to the remaining services. This will allow them more time to establish which services they should continue to fund and give them flexibility to decide what will work best in their own local areas.”