Public say Councils must not target cuts at charity services
Nearly three quarters (72%) of voters do not want councillors to cut funding to charities by more than they cut other services, according to a survey released today.
The survey, released by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services and social finance to not-for-profit organisations, follows research which found that as many as half of all local councils have cut funding to charities by a greater proportion than the overall cuts to their budget.
More than two thirds (69%) of people fear that local communities will suffer if charity funding is cut by councils and two thirds (66%) of those polled are worried that cuts to charities will personally affect them in the future.
The survey found that 73% of the public think charities do valuable work in their local area and more than three quarters of people (77%) believe that charities are well placed to deliver local services due to their not-for-profit status.
Only a quarter (25%) of those interviewed think the government is doing enough to support charities in these tough economic times.
CAF is leading the Back Britain’s Charities campaign, which is calling on councillors to ensure that charities do not face disproportionate cuts. A number of councillors from all parties have already pledged to help ensure charities do not face deeper cuts than other local services.
CAF hosted an event at the House of Commons yesterday(June 10) to highlight the vital work charities do in local communities up and down the country and to discuss the impact that cuts to charities are having in more detail.
Across the UK, charities do a huge amount of vital work in partnership with local government. Their work includes providing care and support for elderly people, helping work those with mental health issues or disabilities, running youth clubs and helping people with housing. Councils help fund charities’ work by offering grants, but also by giving them contracts to run some local services.
But fewer than one in three people polled (29%) were aware that charities can be funded through payments from government for providing services.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Charities play an essential role in our communities and do an excellent job providing services for local government.
“We understand that there are financial constraints on public spending at all levels, but it’s clear that people do not want charities to face more than their fair share of cuts. It is for this reason that we are calling on councillors to listen to their constituents and Back Britain’s Charities.
“We often take for granted many of the services these charities provide, but they offer invaluable support to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. In these tough economic times, many of these services are facing even greater demand and charities are struggling to do more with less, without having their funding disproportionally cut by local authorities. “
For more information on the Back Britain’s Charities campaign visit: http://backbritainscharities.org.uk/
Compact Voice released a report in Dec 2012 showing that half of local authorities are cutting grant funding to the voluntary sector disproportionately. More details can be found at http://www.compactvoice.org.uk/news/2012/12/05/report-highlights-worrying-levels-disproportionate-cuts-grant-funding-voluntary-sect