Local authorities should fix their voluntary sector grants at the start of their budget cycles, according to Alun Michael MP, vice-president of council umbrella body the Local Government Association.
The MP for Cardiff South and Penarth told a fringe meeting at the Labour Party conference yesterday that local government funding for the sector should not be an afterthought and he would urge local authorities to make the decisions earlier rather than later.
At the meeting, organised by the Charity Commission, Michael said a relatively small proportion of council budgets was allocated to the voluntary sector. He said if it was allocated at the beginning of the budgetary year councils would be able to work around it when allocating other funds.
Kevin Curley, chief executive of local infrastructure body Navca, welcomed the suggestion. "Local authorities will be talking about their budgets for 2010/11 in October and November this year, so if action is going to be taken on this it needs to happen soon," he said.