Cuts to local government funding spell end for Nottinghamshire disability charity

The Nottinghamshire Disabilities Living Centre will close at the end of July with the loss of five jobs because expenditure now exceeds income

A Nottinghamshire-based disability charity will close at the end of July in the wake of cuts to local government funding.

The Nottinghamshire Disabilities Living Centre, which has run for almost 30 years, will close on 31 July after a council contract worth more than £30,000 was lost and the charity’s costs exceeded its income.

Five members of staff will be made redundant, the charity said. The team had fallen in size from 12 people a few years ago, it added.

In the charity’s most recent accounts, for the year to 31 March 2016, Val Perrin, then the chair of NDLC, likened the charity "to a ship which went from sailing in fairly calm waters into a dreadful storm".

The accounts also say that two part-time service development advisers took voluntary redundancy and the charity moved to smaller premises to prevent its closure in 2015.

Two service-level agreements ended between 2015 and 2016, according to the charity’s accounts.

One contract, worth £32,539, was with Nottingham City Council and ended in April 2015.

Another of the contracts, worth £35,783 a year, was with NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group, but was replaced by a yearly grant of the same value.

Toni Roberts, manager of NDLC, told Third Sector that the loss of the council contract, the requirement to pay rent at the new premises – which was not the case at its former home – and the loss of staff were all reasons why the charity collapsed.

The accounts show that total income at the charity was £186,363, compared with £225,159 the previous year.

Expenditure went from £216,608 to £189,625, the accounts show.

Pauline Johnston, chair of the charity, said: "The funding has been so severely reduced that our costs now exceed the income.

"It was with great sadness that the trustees reluctantly but unanimously agreed that the charity would have to close and cease providing the expert help and assessments that we have given to so many people in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire over the years."

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