Gershon requirements puts voluntary sector at risk

Measures adopted by local authorities in response to the Gershon
efficiency review could put some voluntary sector organisations at
risk, a leading figure in children’s services warned this
week, writes Amy Taylor.

Speaking at a conference on children’s services Caroline
Abraham, director of public policy at children’s charity NCH,
said that some local authority’s were joining together to
bulk buy services in an attempt to cut costs and that this could
have bad implications on some voluntary organisations.

She said that some voluntary organisations may not be able to
deliver services on the scale required by the bulk buying and that
this was particularly the case for small groups.

Abrahams added that small bodies were often black and ethnic
minority groups that were really needed.

The Gershon efficiency review requires local authorities to make
a saving of 2.5 per cent over the next three years.

“We are not saying that anybody owes the voluntary sector
a living, but where they are doing well, it would be a shame to
drive them out of business,” Abrahams concluded.


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