Young people, Citizens’ Advice and the voluntary sector all targeted by Fenland Council for funding cuts

Fenland Council set to cut funding to Wisbech and Fenland Museum

Fenland Council set to cut funding to Wisbech and Fenland Museum - Credit: Archant

Big cuts in funding to four local organisations – including Citizens’ Advice- were revealed tonight by Fenland District Council.

Cabinet will vote on proposals next week that will see further reductions being progressed including £8,000 lopped of what it pays annually to keep Rural Cambs Citizens’ Advice alive.

Young People March and the Cambridge Council for Voluntary Service (CCVS) will have their grants withdrawn completely.

And completing the quartet is Wisbech and Fenland Museum who can expect a phased withdrawal of grant aid to zero by 2019/2020.

Cabinet will now go out to consultation with the public for 12 weeks before ratifying their decision.

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Councillors will be told that by the end of this year Citizens Advice will have received £729,000 since 2008/0, YMP will have been given £97,775 since 2006/7 and CCVS will have picked up £74,500 since 2011/12.

A report to Cabinet confirms an earlier decision from January 2014 when it was agreed to implement a phased programme of savings in community grants; it added the provison these would be considered in light of changed financial circusmatnces of the council.

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Cabinet has promised “to review the feedback and make final decisions” on November 24.

FDC believes it can save £76,300 a year if the cuts are approved.

How important Citizens Advice is to Fenland is set out in a Cabinet report that empohasises its “provide free, confidential, independent, impartial advice to the residents, workers and students of the area”.

YPM is described as offering a “safe and cared for environment” for young people to “enrich their successful transition from child to adulthood”.

And the report notes that CCVS “is an independent registered charity, set up by local organisations as an infrastructure and network organisation to help and support community and voluntary groups in Cambridge City, South Cambridgeshire and Fenland.”

As for the museum the council concedes it is of major community benefit to both locals and tourists.

In 2016/17 Citizens’ Advice received £81,000 from the council whilst YPM netted £6,800.

Meanwhile CCVS were given £11,625 and the Wisbech Museum pocketed £38,750.

Community impact assessments will now be undertaken.

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