How support for voluntary sector will underpin borough's recovery

Support for the voluntary and community sector will underpin a borough’s  recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 7:00 am
Support has been given to the voluntary sector

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Cabinet approved measures to support the sector, including renewing contracts and continuing to make grant cash available to give it the stability it needs to help drive recovery forward.

These can be funded and contained within the regeneration and strategy revenue budget of £1,012,000 available in 2021-22, councillors heard.

More detailed planning over the next two years will also be carried out to shape much longer term support, said Cabinet member for Climate Change and Resilience, Coun Scott Patient (Lab, Luddenden Foot).

Coun Patient said the voluntary sector had done crucial, “stellar” work, from recovery from flooding to delivering food to people who were self-isolating or could not leave their homes.

It would also play a key role in the future, for example, following the creation of new Integrated Care Partnerships next year, which aim to bring health and social care closer to people’s homes.

“As you know we need strong voluntary sector partners who can contribute to the development and delivery of all our plans for an inclusive economic recovery and achievement of all our priority health and wellbeing outcomes,” said Coun Patient.

A review of funding, and the impact of the sector in the borough, undertaken by the Centre for Local Economic Strategy (CLES), said it was not a cheap option but a vital cog.

Council and partners should also look to increase the amount of money they spent locally, strengthening and building the local economy and community wealth, said Coun Patient.

Coun Silvia Dacre (Lab, Todmorden), Cabinet member for Resources, said an example was supporting smaller organisations to bid together for contracts.

Similar themes fed into other decisions made by Cabinet, including agreeing to update council’s Anti-Poverty Action Plan and endorsing equality goals – recommending to full council that members approve these measures.

Coun James Baker (Lib Dem, Warley) said Council Tax debt played a part in poverty and wanted debt advice to be sent out with the annual bills.

Cabinet member for Public Services and Communities, Coun Jenny Lynn (Lab, Park) said Council Tax reduction schemes helped and staff were always as helpful as they could be when making arrangements to pay for people who had got into debt.

On inequalities, Coun Regan Dickenson (Con, Rastrick) said goals to increase representation of minority groups were laudable but sought assurances the council did not use discriminatory policy when recruiting but chose the best person of the job irrespective of backstory.

Coun Dacre said it was rather than the council encouraged people who were capable of carrying out roles but might lack confidence to apply for them, adding value to the workforce.

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