Council shelves cash cuts

Gloucester postpones plans to reduce its voluntary sector budget but it may only be a brief reprieve

Gloucester City Council has postponed its plan to cut 5 per cent from its voluntary sector budget.

A council meeting held last week to set the budget for 2009/10 did not include the proposal, which would have cost the sector £42,000 (Third Sector Online, 13 January). Cuts are likely next year, however.

At a meeting last week, Sally Pickering, chief executive of Gloucestershire Association for Voluntary and Community Action, told council chief executive Julian Wain that the proposal did not allow time for a proper consultation. "They appreciated that it was rushed and impossible to implement in a fair way," said Pickering.

"The council is making staff redundant and digging into its reserves. It's only right that we should share in that, but now we have a year to discuss it and ensure the effect it has on the most vulnerable people is minimal."

A council spokesman said cuts were not appropriate this year. "There needs to be a review to look at how effective voluntary groups are in meeting their own and the council's aims," he said.

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