Council sets aside more money to help ‘voluntary’ sector

VOLUNTARY groups which are expected to struggle or even close due to new funding arrangements have been thrown another lifeline.

Calderdale Council has decided to almost double the amount of money it will make available so that they have breathing space to adapt.

The so called ‘transition fund’ will go up from £75,000 to £145,000.

Five organisations will benefit directly from the cash injection from April 1: Calderdale DART, Age UK, Relate PKC, Cloverleaf Advocacy and the Ground Floor Project, in Hebden Bridge.

The council’s community services spokeswoman Coun Pauline Nash said: “The extra money will help protect the valuable services provided by Calderdale’s voluntary groups, including services to some of the borough’s most vulnerable people.

“We have listened to the concerns of these groups and feel it is only fair to make money available to give them more time to deal with the changes to the funding they previously received through Communities Grants.

“The voluntary groups can use the money to support a range of costs, including staff, premises and new equipment,” said Coun Nash (Lib-Dem, Skircoat).

Councillor Helen Rivron (Labour, Ovenden) said the council needed to do more.

“The communities scrutiny panel that I chair also called for a review of ‘advice’ work in Calderdale and I expect that we will want to look very carefully at that report when it is ready.

“In these very difficult times, it is vital that we ensure that when people need advice, they can get it.”