Third sector funding
A paper on funding allocations for third sector culture and leisure services went to The Highland Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee on Wednesday 26 October 2016.
Previously, the Council agreed reduced funding for third sector culture and leisure services at its meeting in December 2014. This involved a reduction of 5% in all grants and payments, which is being implemented in the 2016/17 financial year.
A further second phase reduction of 45% in total funding, is to be implemented as part of a review that involved the reconsideration of all existing payments, during the 2017/18 financial year.
The budget cut was planned in such a way to give all the organisations as much notice as possible over 3 years to prepare for the reductions and plan accordingly. Funding was prioritised to give the maximum health and wellbeing benefit to communities.
The decision to agree the funding allocations proposed is now on hold as a result of a notice of amendment which has been made to Council. The amendment will be considered at a special meeting of the Council. If agreed, there will be a special meeting on ECAS Committee to make decisions. In the meantime no further action will be taken to amend the funding allocations.
Cllr Drew Millar, Chair of ECAS said: “The initial decision to reduce the third sector culture and leisure funding was made by Highland Council Members at the December 2014 budget meeting. The Council has tried to give groups the maximum amount of time possible to prepare for the future. Unfortunately there will now continue to be a degree of uncertainty until we know the outcome of this motion of amendment.”
Leader of The Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “Highland Council is not alone in having to consider such cuts to local organisations and we understand that this is serious for some groups, but we find ourselves in a really difficult situation, with few choices, as all local government does at this time. Because of reductions in Scottish Government funding we can’t just continue to give everyone the same levels of funding as in previous years - that would be irresponsible.”