Councils for voluntary service 'don't want to merge'

Councils for voluntary service are reluctant to merge, but are being forced to by some local authorities, research has revealed.

A report on local voluntary community sector infrastructure, published last week by umbrella body Navca, shows that many CVSs are dragging their heels in merger talks.

"Discussion among local infrastructure organisations on rationalisation was going ahead cautiously and somewhat reluctantly," the report reveals.

"It was mainly seen as a spectre, a future threat or problem rather than an opportunity or solution."

Some local authorities were also attempting to push CVSs into merging so that they could make efficiency savings by having to deal with fewer organisations.

Dianne Leyland, director of development at Navca, said the organisation was against councils imposing certain models because the authority had seen them work in neighbouring areas. The research consisted of surveys with more than 80 local infrastructure organisations and in-depth case studies with eight CVSs.

It comes as Barrow CVS called an extraordinary general meeting to reconsider its decision to pull out of the merger of five CVSs in Cumbria.

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