Welsh assembly to review bureaucratic funding processes

The National Assembly for Wales has agreed to set up an independent commission to review the country's Voluntary Sector Scheme, which governs how the sector is funded.

The sector, which comprises mainly small charities, claims it is hamstrung by the bureaucracy and form-filling involved in applying for grants. In its manifesto for the Welsh election last May, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action argued for a less complex system.

Social justice and regeneration minister Edwina Hart announced the independent commission at an Assembly debate last week. Chairman of the commission is Simon Jones, chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre.

During the debate, Jonathan Morgan, Conservative, complained that organisations have to rely on annual project funding in the absence of core cash, and told of one which received its cash from 46 different sources. He also reported that their partnerships with local authorities were rarely "equal".

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