Cuts 'hitting advice and young people's services hardest'

Karl Wilding of the NCVO tells Commons meeting of concern about funding of advice and children's charities

NCVO head of policy and research Karl Wilding
NCVO head of policy and research Karl Wilding

Advice charities and charities running services for children and young people face the greatest threats from public spending cuts, Karl Wilding, head of policy and research at  the National Council for Voluntary Organisations’, said yesterday.

At a meeting of the all-party parliamentary group on civil society and volunteering at the House of Commons, Wilding was asked whether young people’s services had been disproportionately hit by cuts in public spending.

"The two areas we are most worried about are services for children and young people, and advice services," he said. The meeting had been organised to discuss the voluntary sector’s response to the riots that took place this summer.

Tunde Banjoko, chief executive of the charity Local Employment Access Projects, warned: "We need to look at the background and the mindsets of the people who became involved in the riots. Otherwise, when circumstances align themselves, it will happen again.

"A lack of attachment to society comes from poor job prospects and low educational attainment. These are things that can be addressed. There needs to be a feeling that society cares for people."

Charities also warned that policy-makers should give young people a bigger role in shaping decisions that would affect them, rather than devising policies and then consulting young people about the proposals.

Some charities also said they were coming under increasing pressure because local councils that formerly did not charge for use of their premises had started to do so.

They warned that councils were also increasing rents for charities and this would reduce charities’ ability to deliver services.

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