Ringfenced funding for Scottish support groups to end

The Scottish Government will no longer set aside funding specifically for Volunteer Centres and Councils for Voluntary Service when current arrangements end in 2011.

Earlier this month, the Scottish Government announced funding of £11.5m for Volunteer Centres and £11.85m for CVSs over the next three years. But Geoff Pearson, head of the Scottish Government’s third sector team, said in a recent letter to chief executives of volunteer centres and CVSs that funding of the networks in their current form would end in 2011.

The Scottish Government is also encouraging umbrella organisations such as the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and Volunteer Development Scotland to work more closely together. George Thomson, chief executive of VDS, said he welcomed the move towards shared outcomes.

The move is informed by the new agreement between the Scottish Government and local authorities to devolve more power to councils, and will see voluntary networks encouraged to work more closely with the public sector.

John Swinney, Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government said devolving power to councils would enhance the delivery of third sector provision. “Local authorities will in future have increased flexibility and will be able to divert any efficiency savings they make into local priorities,” he said.

Paul White, director of networks at the SCVO, said he welcomed the chance to “work more closely with local authorities and community planning partnerships”.

But some in the voluntary sector fear that organisations will struggle to influence their local authorities under the new arrangements unless CPPs are overhauled.

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