Independence 'is more important than funding'

A ChangeUp consortium has turned down funding from Capacitybuilders because it says the agency has become too directive and bureaucratic.

Bracknell Forest Consortium, led by the local CVS, Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action, has rejected £22,000 of annual development funding, despite its financial problems. Instead, it will use BFVA's reserves.

"Independence from the direction central government wants us to take was more important," said Martin Gilman, chief executive of BFVA. "We have also had enough of having to jump through hoops and meet short deadlines."

Gilman criticised Capacitybuilders' "excessive" reporting requirements. "There was initially a recognition that every local authority was different, and it was about filling the gaps in infrastructure support," he said. "Now it is about headline-grabbing projects."

BFVA is a member of the local umbrella body Navca, whose chief executive Kevin Curley described the decision as "short- sighted".

Jon Fox, director of policy and programmes at Capacitybuilders, said it had responded to the consortium and would not comment further until the two bodies had engaged in more discussions.


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