At the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 21 January, Executive Members of Huntingdonshire District Council secured a new funding approach for the voluntary sector and enhancing the effectiveness of outcomes from public funds.
In seeking to creatively balance the real challenge of financial pressures faced by both public and voluntary sectors, the Cabinet confirmed a new one year funding package. This also responds to the partnership that the council has successfully built up over the previous funding agreements, recognising the social benefit that the voluntary and community sector add to the district council’s own activities and community wellbeing across Huntingdonshire. The following organisations are being funded:
- Care Network
- Disability Information Services Huntingdonshire
- Huntingdon Volunteer Centres
- Hunts Forum for Voluntary Organisations
- Rural Cambridgeshire Citizens Advice Bureau
The council has also committed to exploring arrangements for the most effective approach to creating transparency and certainty for future voluntary sector funding by July 2016. This will see the council working openly alongside its voluntary and community sector partners to ensure that this continued support is measured in clear and positive outcomes within our local communities, and builds ongoing capacity and sustainability within continued partnerships. Refocussing on an outcomes driven approach has now meant that funding to Shopmobility has had to stop, as it has not met the results and conditions of previous funding agreements.
Councillor Roger Harrison, whose executive responsibilities include Community and Voluntary Groups, said: “This funding agreement heralds a new deal for the voluntary sector that will result in us securing real positive impact and ‘bang for buck’ for the Council Tax payer. The council faces continuing external pressure on its own finances, but in recognising the valuable work that the voluntary and community sectors provide to our communities, I am delighted that we have secured further funding in these difficult times. As a council, we have a clear appetite to work smarter on these initiatives to enable maximum benefit from how partners use our £220,000 fund. I am also pleased that this deal is in addition to the £60,000 we also provide directly to communities through our local Community Grants opportunities.”