Cuts in the community

Whilst the lack of detail about where the Geddes Axe is going to fall continues to frustrate, it seems with each day a little more information is being dripped out. Here at NCVO Towers we are doing are best to pull these together and summarise them for you. I’ll update them via this blog, with a little help from Dave Kane, who is doing lots of the number crunching.

Anyway, today’s effort highlights the detail released yesterday by CLG on how the £1.6 billion of in-year cuts for 2010-11 will be borne by local authorities. We’ve taken the numbers released by CLG on the amount being cut in each area, then combined them with (or mashed them up, according to Dave) the National Survey of Third Sector Organisations data on charities by main local authority areas. You can download our spreadsheet, plus the chart below, from here if you want to look at your area.

So what? Well, first of all, the cuts appear to be small in percentage terms: as the CLG press release notes they are capped at 2%. That’s not to say that these aren’t potentially big amounts in some areas though: my home town of Blackburn looks to have had a £4 million reduction. And the LGA is pretty clear about their impact: their news release comments “these cuts will be painful to implement this year and will have a significant effect on services and the people who rely on them”. The National Housing Federation has similarly warned that ‘Losing these services could have a dire effect on the lives of many vulnerable people who currently receive vital support.’

We would particularly welcome any comments from you on cuts to individual streams such as the Working Neighbourhood Fund and how these impact on the communities we work with.

Finally, here is some food for thought: a plot showing the relationship between the cuts as a proportion of a local authority’s grant, and the proportion of voluntary organisations in that area that receive funding. Bearing in mind that the cuts are small in percentage terms and that there isn’t much spread in the percentages, it might suggest that areas where a greater proportion of organisations are funded are those areas where the local authority is experiencing a higher proportionate cut in its in-year budget. Sorry that’s a bit of a mouthful. By the way, we are not trying to suggest any sort of causality here.

graph

So, what do you think? Any suggestions for further analysis of the data set?

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Karl Wilding Karl Wilding, Director of Public Policy and Volunteering, leads NCVO's volunteering, policy, research and campaigning work in the UK and internationally. With lead responsibility for shaping the external environment for the voluntary sector, he blogs about the big issues facing voluntary organisations.

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