They plan a #CareDontCut day of action in Midlothian
Charities are taking action to defuse a council cuts bomb which will devastate communities.
Midlothian Council is proposing a scorched earth 100% slashing of large and small grants to the voluntary sector.
This would mean the end of funding to community transport for disabled and older people, while services such as counselling for young people, community cafes, foodbanks, benefits advice, mental health groups and support for disabilities could all be lost.
The youngest, oldest and most vulnerable residents will be disproportionately affected and lose access to vital support – and all of this during the cost of living crisis.
Midlothian Sure Start’s CEO Cheryl Brown said her charity is facing potential closure with either a 38% cut loss of two family centres and 18 staff or 100% cut with all six centres closing and 57 staff losing their jobs.
The organisation supports 700 children and adults per year with their award winning work and UK recognition.
But Charities are not taking this lying down. Through Midlothian Third Sector Interface (TSI), they have announced they will stage a day of action, a social media campaign and have launched a petition.
They will stage a demonstration outside Midlothian House in Dalkeith from 10-11am on Wednesday, 15 February.
Using the hashtag #CareDontCut, videos will be shared on the day made by members of the community outlining how the cuts will impact them on the Midlothian TSIs social media channels. Charities and individuals are invited to use the hashtag on social media to share their stories.
A spokesperson for Midlothian TSI said: “We ask councillors to reconsider the 100% cuts to the third sector grants programme and community transport. Disinvestment in the third sector won’t lead to cost savings as removing preventative frontline services will create a greater strain on the council and NHS.
“We also highlight our concern on the removal of staff from libraries who are the backbone of the community and deliver key council services.”
The petition has been launched on change.org for individuals and organisations to show support sign against the cuts.
Another demonstration is planned at Midlothian House from 10.30 – 11.30am on the 21February when councillors will be setting the budget and making their final decisions on the cuts.
A spokesperson for Midlothian Council said: “No decisions have been made. The council welcomes all feedback, which will be considered by councillors before the budget setting meeting on Tuesday 21 February.”