Groups react to budget cuts

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VOLUNTARY groups have voiced concerns about Kirklees Council’s proposed budget cuts.

Members of Third Sector Leaders met council officers to discuss the impact of proposed cuts of £64m over the next two years.

The organisation represents charities and non-profit organisations that support people in need across Kirklees.

Chairman Tom Taylor said: “It’s worrying that the council needs to reduce spending at a time when vulnerable people need more support not less.”

He said Third Sector Leaders could help to minimise the impact of the cuts on the most disadvantaged.

“The public and voluntary sector have shared aims around reducing inequality, supporting those in need and enabling everyone to participate in community and society, and we’re not driven by bonuses and profits,” he said.

“It’s cost effective for the council to support voluntary organisations which raise income from national sources and local donations, to improve local quality of life.”

Organisations including Lifeline, Batley Resource Centre and Mencap In Kirklees were represented at the meeting on January 31, which was attended by Kirklees Council’s director of wellbeing and communities, Merran McRae.

Organisations representing ethnic minorities have also said they are worried about the cuts.

Kash Ahmed from JUST West Yorkshire said: “The BME population in Kirklees is increasing and large sections of the community continue to live in wards that are high in the index of multiple deprivation.

“Clearly there needs to be appropriate investment in communities with the greatest needs.”

Saied Laher from the South Asian Consortium Kirklees said: “The cuts in the budget are going to hugely impact on the voluntary and community organisations.

“We are aware that the council has to make huge cuts, but strongly feel that by working in partnership with the local community the council is more likely to achieve its objectives.”

A consultation event to discuss the impact of the cuts on ethnic minorities was held at the Al-Hikmah Centre in Batley this week.