Cuts 'could kill' voluntary sector
The voluntary sector is in danger of collapsing because of a lack of cash, groups have warned the city council.
A dozen organisations – which between them help thousands of people – have written to Leicester City Council, saying groups could fold if the authority makes further cuts to their grants.
Voluntary sector leaders want the council to rethink the way it funds them.
Bosses at the Leicester Action for Mental Health Project, the YMCA, Network for Change, b-inspired, New Dawn New Day, Vista, Leicester Day Trust, Stride, Lighthouse and the city's Aids Support Service put their names to the letter.
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Voluntary Action Leicestershire (VAL) also signed the letter to Councillor Michael Cooke, who chairs the council's health and community scrutiny committee.
It said it wanted a review "in light of the real concerns that the city's voluntary and community sector is in danger of collapsing/imploding in the current financial climate".
Kevin Allen-Khimani, VAL's policy and partnership leader, said: "We know the city council is having its own budgets reduced by a Government that has chosen a programme of austerity but we do want to be part of the discussion on how the cuts happen.
"Some groups are teetering on the edge, having already cut their own costs to try to weather the storm."
Mr Allen-Khimani said there were 372 voluntary groups in the city, employing 1,600 people. He said: "I don't envy the city mayor and his executive because he has some very tough decisions."
The voluntary groups want the council to rethink its tendering process, which they said often favoured larger, private firms over more specialised local groups.
The council is looking to make at least £8.4 million of cuts to services.
Coun Cooke, whose scrutiny group will discuss the issue on Tuesday, was unavailable for comment.
Sir Peter said: "I welcome the scrutiny review into this and I wish I had not been put in a position by the Government where such harsh cuts are needed.
"Leicester historically has a proud record of support for the voluntary and community groups and historically has the highest level of funding of any large city."