Government cutbacks 'could bring north-south divide to the sector'

Charities outside the south east likely to be hit hardest by cuts, says Dame Mary Marsh

Government cutbacks could open up a north-south divide in the English voluntary sector, Dame Mary Marsh warned at a session of Third Sector's Recession Watch Panel held at a conference in London yesterday.

The director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme told deleagates at the Institute of Fundraising's Fundraising 2010 conference that charities outside south-east England were more likely to be hit by cuts because of their greater reliance on state spending.

"When we look at the impact that's coming from the restraint of public sector funding, the statistics make it clear that regions outside the south east are the ones that depend heavily on statutory sources of income, so there will be more impact," she said.

Her comments came after a question from a conference delegate who said that national fundraising drives such as Children in Need had done well despite the recession, but grass-roots organisations in the north of England had seen a fall in donations.

The event was the first time the Recession Watch Panel had met in front of an audience. It was formed in December 2008 to track the impact of the economic downturn on the third sector. A full report on the panel will appear in next week's edition of Third Sector.


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