Could volunteers do their job?

I am writing to express my dissatisfaction at the way the council have decided to fund advice services.

As I understand it, the funding application has been changed from grants to tender applications. Therefore DART cannot apply due to the way the tender has been constructed to fund only general advice.

They are expected to run on a voluntary basis or ‘seek funding from elsewhere as it is not in the council’s remit to fund specialist services’.

I would like to ask who has thought this one up.

Were our councillors fed ‘half a tale’ (as in the Library fiasco)?

Did they vote for this change of did the officers make their minds up for them?

We all know that Robin Tuddenham (Director of Safer & Stronger Communities) is a fan of the big society (see Guardian article January 2011), but does he really want everyone to become a member of this so-called society and: take a pay cut, work for free; give our time for nothing? Shall we give the public un-monitored and unregulated services via volunteers? Is this fair to disabled people?

Yet, this is what he seems to be asking of more and more of the voluntary sector service in Calderdale. DART need only £68k per year to provide their brilliant service to their thousands of clients.

DART’s clients are surely amongst those who most need this help.

Finding paid employment is difficult enough but if you are disabled it is factually proven to be more difficult. DART help this group of people.

I would imagine Mr Tuddenham is paid far more than the £68k that DART need.

Maybe our councillors should consider whether a volunteer could do Mr Tuddenham and his team’s jobs for free.

Kevin Lord

Bank Edge Gardens