Cuts - But IVAC carries on
AT ISLINGTON Council
Executive Meeting on 10 April, Islington Council’s Executive made
the decision to make a total of £436,000 worth of cuts to funding
to the voluntary sector. Add this to cuts made in voluntary sector funding
provided by the Play and Youth Service, and total cuts amount to nearly
three quarters of a million pounds, on top of the two million plus
cut three years ago, and in the intervening years.
Many of the proposed cuts as set out in the Council’s paper, Partnership
with the voluntary sector, were top slices across the board. There
were 20 – 25 per cent cuts to arts organisations, 10 per cent
cuts to community centres, 20 – 30 per cent cuts to nurseries’
‘funding cushion’, 10 per cent cuts to black and minority
ethnic groups, a 12.5 per cent cut to Disability Action Islington—but
a couple of very large cuts were proposed, notably to Caxton House Community
Centre (50 per cent), Finsbury Park Action Group (100 per cent) and
IVAC (75 per cent). However, slight changes had been made to these proposals
by the time of the meeting. To look at these papers in detail, you’ll
need to go to the appropriate part of Islington council’s website:
The report was introduced by Councillors Laura Willoughby and James
Kempton, and changes to the original proposals (which can still be viewed
below) were announced. These were:
1. The cut of 50 per cent funding to Caxton House Community Centre will
be phased in over three years (one third of the cut each year).
2. Slight changes/improvements to proposed funding to nurseries (complicated
to report - see link to paper above)
3. A cut of 20% instead of 25% to Shape
4. Finsbury Park Action Group (FPAG) to receive a 50% cut (£10,000)
instead of a 100% cut (£20,000)
5. IVAC to be cut as proposed (75% - £90,000) but an additional
amount of 'up to' £30,000 to be put aside to contract IVAC to
provide 'partnership and capacity building services'.
Deputations were heard from IVAC, Islington Under Fives' Trust and Shape,
and there was a lengthy discussion with questions taken from the floor,
including FPAG, IVAC Executive Committee member Pat Haynes, and several
Labour Councillors. Issues raised included the Compact (which the Council
members and officers emphasised the importance of), the lack of financial
need to make the cuts considering the Council's income and expenditure
increase this year of over £20 million, the monitoring of the
knock on effects of the cuts (particularly to matched income from other
funders), the effect on the reduction of nursery places (which in the
Council's view was a response to the lack of demand), and the relationship/partnership
with the voluntary and community sector (which the Council insisted
was a separate issue to that of funding).
All in all the Council
felt they were making 'difficult but right' decisions, by targeting
more resources at education and social services rather than the voluntary
sector, and pointed out the new range of funding opportunities available
to the sector, such as NRF and Surestart. Councillor Willoughby commented
on how effective the consultation had been, using the example of how
IVAC's response had shown them how their cuts would directly effect
services to groups, which was why they were prepared to contract IVAC
now for up to £30,000 worth of work.
effect of the cut on IVAC's services will be:
1. Our compact work
will cease in three months, as funding for this has been specifically
level of support for the BME Network will be reduced. However, we are
looking for funding from alternative sources.
for Finance services will be increased
will be raised for specific training and development services
5. With the
exception of funders, we will no longer send out complementary copies
of Islington Community News (Although we will of course continue to
send ICN to members and subscribers)
bodies will be charged for use of IVAC's online database, and for other
All in all, the
cut represents a 12% cut to our total income, and IVAC will be able
to survive the cut and continue to provide quality services. IVAC’s
support for small groups will continue, IVAC’s support for the
Community Network will carry on, and with the exception of the above
IVAC hope you notice no decrease in the quality and quantity of its
services. IVAC are aware of a number of opportunities in the near future,
and are confident that IVAC will continue to prosper.
IVAC continues to
work on the development of the Compact between the Voluntary sector
and the Council, and Islington Council are clearly very keen to get
the Compact signed sealed and delivered – however, they no longer
wish to fund the work around development and management of it. So at
the council meeting we witnessed the bizarre situation where Islington
Council manage to mention the Compact and its importance about five
times in the same meeting where they vote to cut the funding to the
post that has been working on the compact for the last 18 months. Funding
doesn't run out until the end of June for this, but obviously this leaves
little time, especially considering that there is still much work to
be done on the codes of practice for funding, premises and BME groups.
full document on Education and Regeneration Department cuts (ironically
called Partnership with the Voluntary Sector) is downloadable
by clicking here.
read IVAC's response click here.
latest newsletter now online: go to Islington
Community News page.
promoting a thriving, effective, and influential voluntary sector in
Voluntary Action Council (IVAC)
is Islington's umbrella agency for the voluntary sector and the main
provider of support for local voluntary organisations. The scale and
diversity of the sector and the extent of the needs in the borough make
these major tasks.
is a deceptive borough. One could be deceived by national press coverage
into believing that the borough consists of a cappuccino-swilling middle-class
community regularly dining out in Granita with Tony Blair. The truth,
however, for the majority of the Borough's population is entirely different.
Deprivation indices show that Islington is the eighth most deprived
borough in the UK. It is an inner-London borough with a multi-ethnic
population and much social deprivation, including high unemployment,
poverty and poor health. Statutory services are severely stretched and
information, consultancy, training, advice and support to Islington's
Helps co-ordinate the voluntary sector, and promotes partnership within
the sector, and with statutory agencies.
Represents the views of the sector to statutory agencies.
its services particularly to groups which have experienced discrimination,
or which have been excluded from access to services.
Scales: Scales from April 2003 now available: click here
download IVAC's latest Annual Report click here.
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