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Have your say on the future of discretionary grants

People are encouraged to have their say on the future of two types of grant funding to voluntary and community groups across Derbyshire.

The 12-week public consultation will seek views on plans to end adult social care and corporate services and transformation discretionary grant funding in March 2025. 

The Derbyshire County Council has been funding voluntary organisations with annual grants for several years, over which time it has experienced growing financial pressures.

It means the council must now consider how it prioritises spending on services it is required to provide by law against those which it has no legal obligation to deliver.

The proposal to stop adult social care grants would affect 30 community and voluntary groups.

In total these currently receive annual grants totalling just over £722,000. 

A further 20 groups would be affected by the proposal to stop corporate services and transformation grants. These receive grants totalling just over £333,000. Seven of the organisations are affected by both proposals.

The consultation will run until 20 August 2024 and people can give their views on both proposals by filling in an online questionnaire here: End of discretionary grant funding - Derbyshire County Council

An easy-read version of the online questionnaire is also available to fill in online and paper copies of both the standard and easy read questionnaire are available on request by emailing policy@derbyshire.gov.uk

Direct consultation will take place with all the organisations affected as well as people who use them.

Councillor Natalie Hoy, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Care, said: “Like all other councils across the country we’re facing increasing financial pressures that are outside our control.

“Many of these organisations have been receiving grants for up to 20 years as a matter of course. Since then, Derbyshire's population has changed and people's aspirations, needs and preferences for support have also changed which is why we have to ensure we’re providing services they need.

“Our current financial challenges also mean it is absolutely essential that the limited funding we do have available is spent wisely and that’s why we want to hear from as many people as possible.”

Following a previous consultation in 2022, all groups receiving funding were told that grants would cease and the council would commission services where required instead. However, due to budget pressures, commissioning did not get underway and the council must now prioritise statutory services.

Councillor Carol Hart, the county council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, added: “We have a responsibility to ensure that we are making the best use of our finite resources to support people fairly across the whole of the county and that we are protecting services for those people who need us most. 

“Like many other councils across the country we are facing significant budget pressures that are beyond our control which means we must consider how we use the resources we have available to ensure we can continue to deliver services we have to by law.

“However I’d like to reassure people that these are proposals only and no decisions will be taken until we’ve had the chance to hear everyone’s views and take them in to account.”

 

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