Norfolk cuts £1m from budget for voluntary sector contracts

Norfolk Council has cut £1m from its budget for purchasing services from the voluntary sector due to pressures caused by the current funding climate.

The council is cutting its spend on services provided by the voluntary sector from £14m to £13m. Norfolk has already invited organisations that deliver 69 of its voluntary sector contracts, worth £2.4m, to tender for new contracts totalling £1.4m as part of an open tender process.

The council’s children and young people’s trust board has made recommendations about which contracts should be awarded and alerted the relevant organisations. The contracts are based on the priorities set out in its children and young people’s plan. Some organisations will be unsuccessful or have their funding reduced.

“We recognise that this will be a difficult time for these organisations, who, like the private and public sector, will have to look at more efficient ways of working in these tough economic times,” said Shelagh Hutson, cabinet member for children’s services.

“However, we need to ensure we are getting the best value for money for Norfolk’s taxpayers and the best outcomes for Norfolk’s children and young people.”

Salford’s children’s services are also feeling the pinch, forced to make £420,000 in savings over the next year, including some cuts in staff, according to reports. The department is nearly £3m in debt.

However, Leeds Council has increased council tax and cut the budgets of other services to boost children’s services and adult social care.

Under the proposed budget, it will invest an extra £6.2m in children’s services, which will take on additional staff.

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