Support service makes plea to keep its funding

Corby Volunteer Bureau

Corby Volunteer Bureau

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An organisation providing vital support to Corby’s voluntary and community groups has made a plea to keep its funding.

Corby Voluntary and Community Services, in the former TA Centre in Elizabeth Street, is coping with a mounting workload in the face of possible cuts in funding.

In the past year it has seen a £20,000 fall in revenue from hiring out rooms at the centre and is expecting a £2,500 cut in its funding from the county council. It receives £20,500 from Corby Council but this may be cut as the authority looks at ways of reducing its funding to community and voluntary groups by £27,500.

Hugh Fenton, treasurer of Corby VCS, said: “With the voluntary sector in trouble our workload is going up. We do not expect a reduction in our work.”

Mr Fenton spoke out at a meeting of Corby Council’s grants sub committee this week. Last year the authority awarded a total of £96,661 to 14 voluntary groups, including Victim Support and Corby Furniture Turnaround. In addition it awarded a total of £125,566 to community centres in the town.

At the meeting on Tuesday members agreed to advertise the funding available for community and voluntary groups and invite organisations to apply for grants. A final decision will be made by the full council on February 28 when the budget for 2013-14 is agreed.

Mr Fenton said: “The council is making a decision about this very late in the day. We have passed the period of giving proper notice to people if jobs have to go.”

Cllr John McGhee said: “We are in a recession and tight. We have to prioritise to ensure we can help as many people as possible.”

At the meeting councillors agreed to increase its discretionary rate relief to Passing Shots, the community interest company which runs Corby Tennis Centre, from 50 per cent, at a cost to the authority of £1,378, to 80 per cent.