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Influencing local spending plans for 2015-2016

Brighton and Hove City Council has approved its budget for 2015-16.

We’d like to express our thanks to all our representatives and members who engaged so actively in representing the potential impact on the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and the communities we support. A special thanks to our elected budget representative, Jo Martindale for all her efforts and achievements.

We can report that:

  • we successfully demonstrated the value of retaining investment in the grants programme which continues unchanged for another year at £1.25m. This at various times in the past three months was put forward for a £315,000 cut, then £165,000 cut and at one point a total cut, so this really is a really positive outcome. Support for the VCS once again received cross-party political support. Plans to develop the strategic grants into a commissioning prospectus programme continue, but hopefully with plenty of opportunities for our members to work with the council on shaping this
  • £400,000 of funding for the Youth Collective and youth service equalities providers is protected for now, pending a review of integrated services for young people. These had originally been put forward for a total cut from April 2015
  • Funding for services for adults and children with disabilities is reducing significantly. One-off funding of £202,000 was allocated to support residential and respite placements, short breaks, direct payments and family support services. The details of what this means for VCS providers is to be confirmed. Implementation of the recommendations emerging from the recent reviews of learning disability and special educational needs and disability services will provide more clarity as they proceed, with the expectation that significant decisions will go back to council committee meetings for discussion and decision, and that there will be opportunities for ongoing involvement and dialogue
  • the proposed £200,000 cut to support services for the VCS (to our organisation and our community development and engagement partners) was removed, although our 3 year contract has been reduced to 2 and support services will be recommissioned as part of the new VCS prospectus (mentioned above)
  • proposed savings to voluntary sector childcare providers have been reduced or eliminated
  • housing related support services (former supporting people contracts) will be recommissioned during 2015-2016 and significant savings taken, with the processes around this to be confirmed

There is a lot more detail to local spending plans than this and a lot more discussion has since taken place. More detail of what was agreed is available in the amendment made on 3 March 2015.

If you have any queries about this work or if you’re effected by cuts in local spending, get in touch with our Partnership Manager, Laura Williams, on laura@bhcommunityworks.org.uk or 01273 234025

 

NEXT | Our impact 2008-2013

Read more about the impact of our work as the Community and Voluntary Sector Forum between 2008-2013.