Kevin Curley argues for 'tough love' with Transition Fund

Navca chief executive says councils that have cut voluntary sector budgets 'disproportionately' should not have access to the money

Kevin Curley
Kevin Curley

Charities in local authority areas that have cut voluntary sector budgets savagely should not be eligible for funding from the Transition Fund, according to Kevin Curley, chief executive of local infrastructure support group Navca.

Curley said he would be arguing for this form of "tough love" with the Office for Civil Society when details of the fund, which was announced in the comprehensive spending review, were debated.

He said giving money to charities in areas such as the London borough of Croydon, which pruned its annual voluntary sector budget by £1.2m, would reward bad practice and send out the wrong message.

"I don’t think this fund should be used to reward local authorities that have cut the voluntary sector deeply and disproportionately," said Curley.

He said some charities that had been victims of council cuts would disagree with him, but it was important that recent appeals to councils by David Cameron, the Prime Minister, Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, and Greg Clark, the decentralisation minister, to spare charities from the brunt of cuts were followed.

Curley said the decision to ring-fence public health funding when it transfers from the NHS to local government next year was important to voluntary organisations involved in areas such as tackling obesity. "Hard-pressed local authorities might not have given public health the support it needs," he said.

He also welcomed the 50 per cent rise in apprenticeship funding, which he said was something the voluntary sector was well placed to deliver.

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