Tuesday, 2 August 2011

516 charities and community groups facing cuts across the Midlands

Over 500 charities across the Midlands are facing budget cuts as local authorities reduce their funding – or in some cases completely withdraw it – according to new research published today (Tuesday) by the union backed anti-cuts campaign website False Economy. The research, based on Freedom of Information responses from local councils across the region, shows that one year on from the launch of the Big Society, many charities and voluntary groups are facing deep funding cuts.
Birmingham City Council has cut funding to 191 charities – the largest number in the country.
All charities or voluntary groups receiving a funding cut of at least five per cent are listed in the research, although most of the cuts are far deeper than this and many groups have had their funding cancelled completely.
The list of charities facing funding cuts in the Midlands includes:

• 100 children’s and young people-related charities

• 47 elderly-related charities

• 40 arts charities

• 37 disability charities

• 33 adult care charities

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: “These deep cuts to voluntary groups across the Midlands show that government claims that charities can replace direct services currently provided by central or local government are false. It sounds great, but in practice, the Big Society is looking more and more like a big con.”
False Economy’s campaign director Clifford Singer said: “These cuts go deep into the voluntary and community sectors. These are not just ‘nice to have’ groups but organisations providing vital services for older people trying to maintain independent lives, vulnerable children and abused women. And with so many of the cuts simply resulting in further pressure on the NHS or other statutory services, they are truly a false economy.
“Ministers talk up localism and say services will be better shaped locally, but the huge front-loaded cuts to councils mean that local decision-making simply gives councils the choice of which vulnerable people they should make suffer for an economic crisis they did nothing to cause.”
The details of each individual cut are posted on the False Economy website – www.falseeconomy.org.uk – a resource hub for the UK anti-cuts movement.
False Economy allows people to upload their own stories and find out about cuts in their local area, tell other people how they’ve been affected by cuts and learn more information about anti-cuts campaigns in their area. False Economy is backed by a wide range of online campaigns and campaigners, and largely funded by unions.

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