Conservatives call for central funding of Welsh charities

Welsh voluntary organisations should be able to access centralised funding through the National Assembly, the Conservatives will urge in the Welsh Assembly elections on 1 May.

David Melding, Tory health and welfare spokesman at the National Assembly, emphasised the need for central funding because of the forthcoming reorganisation of the NHS in Wales.

The number of bodies giving funding has leapt from 13 to 44 in the past few years, which causes problems for third-sector organisations that operate on an all-Wales basis, he told the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action at his party's Welsh annual conference.

"In local government, the eight counties have leapt to 22 unitary authorities," he said. "And on 1 April, the five health authorities will similarly burgeon to 22 local health boards, based on the areas of those same local councils."

Melding called for the establishment of a centralised funding system operating under the wing of the National Assembly.

An attempt to centralise cultural funding for the Royal National Eisteddfod foundered when eight county councils could not agree on contributions.

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