Worries over impact of council budget cuts to third sector
A body representing Edinburgh’s voluntary groups has hit out over planned cuts of up to 15% to the third sector budget in the capital.
City of Edinburgh Council is currently consulting on proposals for savings and investments for the 2015/16 annual budget – proposing sweeping cuts across a range of services.
The 15% slash to voluntary sector funding could mean many vital services having to be massively scaled back or even closed.
At present the figures are just proposals with the council deciding on the final reckoning in February after its annual budget meetings.
An eight page report by EVOC (Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations Council) entitled ‘The Year of Reckoning’, acknowledges the extent of the cuts and states voluntary groups can’t keep up the quality and extent of their essential work with such widespread cash drops.
The report reveals the devastating impact a 15% reduction in budget would have on the sector. Some 15,000 people are employed through Edinburgh’s voluntary organisations, generating over £2 billion to the capital’s economy.
EVOC is working to pull together a third sector-wide response to the proposals in time for the council budget meeting in February.
Calls have been made for third sector organisations in the city to respond to the consultation.
Evoc says those seen so far have all echoed the warning of disastrous consequences of cuts – including increased crisis intervention, increased inequality and heightened poverty, which will ultimately cost the city much more.