Council cuts in Peterborough to cost local charity sector millions of pounds

The local authority's financial strategy document says it faces "immediate and significant financial challenges"

Peterborough
Peterborough

Voluntary sector organisations in Peterborough face multimillion-pound cuts in new budget proposals by the city council.

The council's financial strategy document says it faces "immediate and significant financial challenges" that require £33m of savings in 2020/21 plus £5.8m in the current 2019/20 budget.

Under the proposals, charities involved in the Peterborough Community Assistance Scheme, a partnership project between the council and not-for-profit organisations to support those in most urgent need of help, will lose £1.4m over three years.

Those affected include Age UK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Citizens Advice Peterborough and Disability Peterborough.

The local authority also plans to reduce funding by £1m to Vivacity, the charity created in 2010 by spinning off council leisure and cultural services such as libraries and theatres.

Contracts to run children's centres, which are currently fulfilled by the charities Barnardo's and Spurgeons, will be recommissioned, with a projected saving of £500,000.

The budget for the drugs and alcohol misuse charity CGL Aspire is forecast to be trimmed by £120,000.

It is unclear to what extent some of the other cuts will affect charities.

Council-commissioned care services are being reduced by £5.2m over three years and all non-statutory youth services will be axed, saving £1.5m.

And funding to organisations that help older people discharged from hospital will fall by £135,000.

Government funding to the council, whose forecast spending for 2020/21 is £158.9m, has fallen by more than 80 per cent since 2013/14.

The council is now consulting on the proposals, which were published on 25 October.

A council spokeswoman said: "The voluntary sector provides incredibly important services in the city and we are continuing to support them despite huge government cuts to our budget.

"In future we will help to empower local people and organisations to deliver the services they want, to the places and people that they feel require it the most.

"This is about working in a different way with our voluntary partners in what is now a very different climate."

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