Five charities challenge Harrow Council's decision to cut their funding

'Call-in' system means a decision must be reviewed if more than 150 residents challenge it

Harrow Council
Harrow Council

Five charities in the London Borough of Harrow have forced the council to review its decision to cut their funding by using a 'call-in' system that allows residents to challenge policies.

The system, which applies to councils that use an executive decision-making process, means they must reconsider a decision if it is challenged by more than 150 people.

Charities including Harrow & Wealdstone Shopmobility and the Harrow Association of Disabled People have collected petitions from service users and other local residents calling on the council to review its decision to cut their grants.

The council has recently announced it would reduce the number of voluntary sector grants that it awards from 91 to 31 after making a cut of 15 per cent to its voluntary sector budget.

A spokeswoman for Harrow Council said its cabinet would have to review its decision to cut the charities' funding, but added it would be free to reaffirm its original decision.

Representatives of the charities will outline the effects of the funding cuts and explain why they feel the authority should change its mind at a council meeting on 4 May.

Helen Dashwood, manager of Harrow & Wealdstone Shopmobility, told Third Sector the charity had collected 500 signatures from residents on a petition that asked the council to reinstate its funding.

"I do understand there are a lot of groups looking for the money, but the council's system for deciding who to fund has not been fair," she said.

"Without this funding, the charity will close down. This will have a disastrous effect on disabled people in Harrow who are trying to live independently."

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