Powys Voluntary Groups In 15% Cash Cut

Voluntary groups in Powys are to have their local authority funding cut by £300,000 over this year and the next.
The county council says the reduction in grants is to help meet a £2m shortfall in adult social services.

More than 50 organisations have been told to expect a 15% cut next year, and a similar cut has been made this year.

The council said a “major budget shortfall” left it in the “difficult position” of having to find savings in over £1.6m for the voluntary sector.

Carl Cooper, chief executive of Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations, said: “These cuts will have a significant impact on those services.”

Mr Cooper told BBC Radio Wales: “We were told that the £150,000 in the 2009/10 budget had to be found. That wasn’t negotiable, that wasn’t up for discussion.

“So what we tried to do on behalf of the (voluntary) sector was to make sure the principles that decisions were made on were principles such as transparency, equitability and fairness.

“So that there was at least a rationale behind how cuts were made, because the cuts were going to be made anyway.”

In a statement released by the local authority, Rosemarie Harris, council board member for adult services, the only way of safeguarding those principles was to give the voluntary organisations advance notice of the 15% ‘across the board’ reduction.

She said: “These [savings] were achieved this year through savings produced by the closure of Powys Benefits, no inflationary increase to the voluntary sector and savings from resources for new developments.”