Saturday, 16 January 2010

Council Grants Cut While Charges Increase

The total that Reading Borough Council (RBC) spends on supporting the voluntary sector has fallen for the first time in years, from £2,665,962 last year to a planned £2,605,298 this year. Almost all new applications have been refused and some groups have seen a cut in longstanding funding.

The majority of the organisations which get ongoing funding asked for more this year, but nearly all had to settle for the same amount they got last year or slightly less. So in real terms its cut cut cut.

- Churches in Reading Drop-in Centre gets a provisional £10,548, but is on a 'warning' "Payments will not be released until some measurable progress has been made."
- Reading YMCA got help worth £2,618 last year and asked for £50,000 this year, but had its grant request refused.

Meanwhile RBC will be looking at tough choices to save cash including cutting 165 posts over the next five years. The need to save has been brought about by the reduction in Government grant to the council over the last three years. It was reduced 2.5 per cent in 2008/9, by a further two per cent in 2009/10 and by another 1.5 per cent in the coming year.

But residents will have noticed their Council taxes going up. This years overall percentage increase is 4.1%

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