Cambridge’s newly-elected Labour City Council published the Council’s long-awaited review of community grants triggered by national government funding cuts. The report prioritises funding for groups helping those most in need after Labour won the local elections in May 2014 on a platform of improving social inclusion and cutting poverty in the city. Labour’s plans follow the announcement by the previous Lib Dem administration in January 2014 of a review proposing grants reductions of up to 30 per cent following the Coalition Government’s slashing of 40 per cent in core funding to the council over four years from 2011.

Cllr Richard Johnson, Labour’s Executive Councillor for Community, Arts and Recreation, said: “We will be proposing a 25 per cent reduction to the budget and we have decided to protect this budget until 2018 to give local groups a period of certainty and enable them to plan ahead. Strengthening the voluntary sector in the city is one of our long term aims.”

He added: “It’s been a tough decision because of the government cuts but we believe we have got the best out of it for local groups with the cash available. Our underlying aim is to target those who need it most. Labour’s top priority is the most disadvantaged in the city and making Cambridge fair for all. Grant review consultation responses also showed strong support from voluntary organisations for prioritising help for those in need.”

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Cambridge City Council, added: “The voluntary sector plays a vital role in tackling local problems and assisting Cambridge people who most need help. The council will be advising all groups from next month on the future funding application process and priorities, providing plenty of information to assist groups and plenty of notice too on the application deadline. Smaller group and charities will continue to benefit as much as the bigger ones from the Council’s £900,000 community grant funding in 2015 and Area Committees will continue to manage a local funding pot too.”

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