January 2011 - Cuts for the Third Sector

January shows continuing difficulties for the third sector - while having some sympathy with local authorities coping with government cuts, it's difficult not to feel that they don't understand how much added value comes from the Third Sector and how much they'll have to pick up if organisations and projects fold.

Newcastle's much vaunted "Newcastle Fund" has less than a quarter the money in it than that which went to the sector in previous years (if we take into account the end of area based grants such as the Working Neighbourhoods Fund). And the allocation of grants (it's well over-subscribed) seems to be on the basis of no real strategic direction - just getting everyone to fight against each other. I wonder how Council employees would like this degree of cutting and approach?