Crowdsourcing the cuts – the view from London’s VCS

We’re continuing our work to try and understand where and how changes in public spending are impacting on voluntary and community organisations and the communities they serve. (We do do other things, which I will blog about, but this is sort of the only show in town at the moment) As part of this work, we’ve had an interesting discussion with LVSC’s Alison Blackwood, who leads the Policy and Knowledge Team. Alison’s blog, written shortly before SR10 but still relevant, is titled The calm before the storm; let’s hope we won’t need a follow-up called In the eye of the Hurricane

LVSC PolicyThe calm before the storm?
Having recently used the NCVO crowdsourcing data to look at spending cuts in London, one of the striking things about the data is the lack of entries in the last two months. Of course this could be because people are simply not reporting cuts on the site. However, London Voluntary Service Council has also been trying to keep our own record of the cuts in London. There were a spate of announcements in May, June and July, following the emergency budget, which included:

  • local authority spending cuts to the voluntary and community sector in Croydon and Westminster;
  • cuts to Local Area Agreement award grants in several London boroughs
  • Primary Care Trust cuts in Harrow;
  • cuts to Arts Council funding;
  • the abolition of the London Development Agency’s promised Incubator Fund which would have supported VCS organisations to form
  • consortia to bid for sub-regional and regional contracts;
  • and a consultation initiated on introducing 80% cuts to the London Councils Borough Grants Scheme for the VCS.

However, in August, September and the first half of October we have not recorded any new examples of cuts to voluntary and community sector funding in the capital. It seems that local authorities, Primary Care Trusts and other public sector funders in London are awaiting the results of the Spending Review which took place yesterday to decide what cuts they will make to voluntary and community sector funding. It seems likely that any new cuts resulting from the Spending Review will come into effect at the start of the new financial year, when we may see yet more VCS organisations struggle to survive their impacts.

You can register any cuts to your own organisation’s funding by visiting, while full results of the data collected can be seen at I’d be interested to hear what others thought was the reason for the fall off in entries over the last few months and whether NCVO should expect to see an increase following the Spending Review.

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Karl Wilding Karl Wilding served as NCVO's chief executive from September 2019 to February 2021.

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