Spending Round 2013

NCVYS has published a briefing on the Spending Round 2013. It includes details of £11.5 billion of further spending cuts and the implications for relevant government departments.


Government funding for voluntary and community programmes

The Department for Education has published details of its VCSE National Prospectus grants. 72 applications secured funding for 2013-15, worth just over £50m in total over the next two years, to implement projects and services to improve outcomes for children, young people and families.

Communities Minister Don Foster has announced up to £1 million to support single homeless people. Foster allocated up to £800,000 for homelessness charity Crisis to fund schemes to set up new shared tenancies for single homeless people in privately rented accommodation. He also announced a further £230,000 for the charity to continue its Private Rented Sector Access Programme, which works with local landlords to help vulnerable people find the homes they need in privately rented accommodation.

The Department for Culture Media and Sport has announced the winner of £1.8m of National Lottery and Sport England funding focused on changing the sporting habits of women and girls. The funding was won by Bury, who will now pilot a scheme that will evolve based on local feedback.

Voluntary and community sector funding

Figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government given in answering a written parliamentary question suggest that the value of grants given by local authorities to voluntary sector organisations were £2.627bn in 2011/12 compared with £1.693bn in 2008/09. In response NAVCA said no one really believed local government funding for charities was rising and suggested that ‘changes in the way figures are calculated may have caused this odd figure’.

NCVO has published Counting the Cuts: The impact of spending cuts on the UK voluntary and community sector -2013 update. This analysis, based on Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts of public spending, estimates that public funding for charities could be £1.7bn (12%) lower by 2017/18. It noted that future reductions in public spending are likely to be concentrated among departments which are key sources of income for charities – with local government expected to be particularly hard hit.

NCVO has also published the results of the 2011/12 Annual Return for Volunteer Centres, a survey of volunteer centres’ income and activities. It shows that 40% of volunteer centres for whom there is data for both years lost over a quarter of their income compared to the previous year. 1 in 5 (21%) had cuts of 50% or more of their income. A smaller number of volunteer centres saw an increase in their income – 26% of respondents who replied to the survey in both years said their organisation’s income had increased compared to 2010/11.

NAVCA has published the findings of its fourth quarterly survey of members. The latest survey shows that more members feel that the prospects for the local voluntary and community sector will get slightly worse over the next three months, with nearly half reducing staff levels.

Local campaigns against cuts to young people’s services

Redbridge Council has confirmed that councillors have reconsidered their initial plans to cut its services for young people budget. Following a youth council campaign against proposed cuts of £696,000, the council will now retain £500,000 for spending on local provision for young people. The council said music and drama centres would also be protected from the cuts, with £175,000 funding, and any remaining savings required would be made through efficiency improvements and not cuts to frontline services.

Campaigns against cuts to young people have also taken place in Newcastle and Birmingham. In Birmingham more than 100 people have protested against plans to make £1.5m of cuts, which could see 30 youth clubs and other services close. In Newcastle, the Newcastle Youth Council has delivered its report on how budget cut proposals will affect 11-18s in the city, with a plea to City Councillors to “restore hope to the young”. ‘A Fair Deal for Young People?’ concludes that young people are getting an unfair deal from local budget plans and those hit hardest will be the most vulnerable, living in the poorest areas.

In North Somerset, 21-year-old Aaron Hunt has been given permission to appeal against a High Court ruling which refused to halt cuts that threaten the youth club for disabled youngsters that he attends. His initial legal challenge, claiming the council had breached the Equality Act, was dismissed at the High Court in July 2012.

Early Intervention Grant part 2

Children’s Minister Edward Timpson has confirmed that the £150 million Early Intervention Grant top sliced by the Department for Education will be returned to local authorities in the form of an Adoption Reform Grant. It was revealed in September 2012 that £150m would “be excluded in 2013-14 and 2014-15 and retained centrally for future use in funding early intervention and children’s services”.

CYP Now has published analysis of local authority funding. It notes that the local government funding settlement for 2013/14 brought in average cuts to local authority funding of 1.7 per cent, but with the additional reductions for childcare and adoption, the Early Intervention Grant “will be reduced by 11 per cent on a like-for-like basis, from £1.919bn in 2012/13 to £1.709bn in 2013/14.” The analysis finds that eight of the ten most deprived areas have received the maximum Early Intervention Grant cut possible of 13%, while nine of the ten least deprived areas received the lowest cut possible of 8.7%.

Birmingham, Newcastle and North Lincolnshire

Birmingham City Council has published a consultation document outlining £110m of savings for 2013/14. This includes cuts of more than £23m from its children, young people and families budget, with voluntary sector services for children and young people seeing a £4.4m reduction as well as reductions to youth services and CAMHS. The West Midlands Social Work Action Network has said there has been a lack of consultation on plans to cut local child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) funding by two thirds and children’s preventative services by 38 per cent.

Newcastle City Council has said it needs to find an extra £10m worth of cuts, on top of the £90m it already had to find. The Evening Chronicle reports that the council “is being forced to close libraries, swimming pools and cut youth services”. A letter to the Guardian said that Newcastle is also making a 100% cut to arts funding and closing 11 of its 18 public libraries, as well as reducing the play and youth services, “leaving children and young people without leisure, cultural or community facilities.”

North Lincolnshire Council is proposing to outsource the majority of existing youth service provision. Council documents seen by CYP Now “suggest the plans will save the council £150,000 during 2013/14 and result in an equivalent loss of eight full-time youth service posts, affecting 74 part-time staff in total.” A youth-worker’s blog said that the council plans to offer grants of £10,000 to applicants who want to run services. The council said that overall the youth services budget would stay as £600,000.

Essex, West Sussex, Berkshire and Hull

Southend Borough Council has admitted that cuts to local youth services are a key factor in the lack of use of a two-year old £2.9m youth centre. CYPNow reports that, “Some of the rooms at the Shoebury Youth Centre in Southend, including a computer room and recording studio, have been locked up because the facility is failing to attract young people in the area.”

West Sussex County Council has shut Oriel Youth Wing as part of its £2 million savings programme, but Oriel High School, where the youth wing was based, has now said it will be extending its own youth provision to replace what was lost.

A plan for a drop-in youth centre run by Crowthorne Baptist Church’s HopeZone has been withdrawn, “in light of recent objections from residents and fears about anti-social behaviour as a result of the centre”.

Hull City Council has said that up to 90 full-time equivalent posts in the children and young people’s service may be lost. The service is being asked to make £7.6 million of savings this year but forecasts suggest it will not meet that target – predicting a £3.1 million budget overspend.