By John Elworthy
, The Editor
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
YOUNG People March and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau will be among the casualties of a decision by Fenland District Council to scale back their community grants programme.
Agreements with both bodies plus those with Fenland museums and the Council for Voluntary Services will run as normal this year but they can expect “phased percentage reductions” from 2014.
Sarah Gove, housing and communities’ manager, has drawn up a report to next week’s Cabinet which outlines “further efficiency savings” to what the council terms community support.
Axing the community grants revenue programme will save £45,000 but in total, she says, the council will save double that once staffing and other costs are taken into account.
And from next year, once “further savings are determined via phased service level reviews” the council will be even better placed.
Council leader Alan Melton said: “The community grants scheme as such will be end in 2013/14. There will be no awards and thus far no bids have been received.”
In respect of cutting cash to the four organisations under service level payments “details of any changes to 2014/15 will be worked up in the autumn”.
However Ms Gove said the council remains committed to a “comprehensive community support package” that will include helping the elderly through the Golden Age programme and there will be still be a grant of £10,000 for the youth district council.
There will also be an emphasis, said Ms Gove, on “support/signposting communities to help themselves” and in housing private sector landlords will be encouraged to deal with issues relating to multiple occupation and empty properties.
Ms Gove also promised “appropriate support” to neighbourhood forums and responding, where necessary, to issues on the county council community website Shape Your Place.