York MP Raises Concerns About Charity Finances
11:22am 7th February 2013
Voluntary organisations in York are struggling to find essential funding despite an increasing need for their services. Yesterday, 6th February, York Central MP, Hugh Bayley, raised this issue in Parliament.
Mr Bayley said:
“I am becoming increasingly concerned about the number of charities and voluntary bodies in York that are struggling to find funds. When David Cameron became Prime Minister he said he supported the “Big Society”, but it’s withering away. If the government want voluntary organisations to provide help for health and social problems they need to provide them with the resources to do it.
“Many voluntary organisations have seen a huge increase in demand for their services but this demand has been met with budget cuts.
“When I visited Morrell House last month I met with Sally Hutchinson, the Chief Officer of Age UK York, and we talked about the difficulties of funding services for people with dementia. Age Concern UK run day clubs for people with dementia, giving them a hot meal, activities and company, and their carers a much needed rest. But funding isn’t guaranteed beyond September 2013. They are worried about where the future funding will come from. I have written to the Leeds Mental Health Trust who are responsible for providing dementia services for York to urge them to guarantee the funds to keep these day clubs open.
“This is happening with other charities too. The York Blind and partially Sighted Society have seen a huge increase in demand for their services and at the same time a cut in the amount of funding they receive. If the government want the Big Society they need to invest in it”
This is how Hansard recorded the exchange in the House of Commons:
Hugh Bayley (York Central) (Lab): How much financial support the Government gave to civil society organisations in (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2012-13 to date.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Mr Nick Hurd): It is estimated that the Government committed £13.9 billion to general charities in 2009-10. As the hon. Gentleman will know, data for 2012-13 are not yet available.
Hugh Bayley: Thousands of people in every one of our constituencies depend on the services provided by voluntary bodies. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations estimates that funding for the sector will fall by £3.2 billion during the current Parliament, while the Charities Aid Foundation says that private giving to charities has fallen by 20%. The big society is shrinking. How are the Government going to give it the resources it needs to provide services for our constituents?
Mr Hurd: The Government are doing a great deal to support our charities. We are encouraging giving, volunteering and social investment, and we are trying to make it easier for charities to help us to deliver public services. There is less money around as a direct consequence of the actions, and the fiscal incontinence, of the Government whom the hon. Gentleman did not adorn. We all have a role and a responsibility to support our charities, but this Government are doing their bit.
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