CAMBRIDGESHIRE: County council set to give £500,000 boost to the voluntary sector

THE County Council today (Tuesday, December 9) approved proposals to give a £500,000 boost to voluntary organisations working to support the community across Cambridgeshire. The two-year programme – which will need to be ratified by the Cabinet - recognis

THE County Council today (Tuesday, December 9) approved proposals to give a £500,000 boost to voluntary organisations working to support the community across Cambridgeshire.

The two-year programme - which will need to be ratified by the Cabinet - recognises that voluntary sector organisations are coming under increased pressure as the financial downturn continues to bite.

The £500,000 consists of:

£100,000 this year and next for emergency assistance to prevent people losing their homes and jobs


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£100,000 in the next year to fund voluntary sector rental holidays, rent-free office space and technical support

£200,000 in 2009/10 to give the voluntary sector extra support in areas which are currently poorly served.

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County Council Leader Jill Tuck, said: "The Council recognises that as a result of the current economic downturn, many people in Cambridgeshire are facing severe financial pressures.

"This package of support is real, timely and much needed by the voluntary sector. It shows how serious we are about leading and helping our communities through the recession.

"We have been developing this plan for some time now and with many predicting that the worst of the recession will come in the New Year it is timely support.

"It also offers practical support - things like rental holidays and technical support will enable the voluntary sector to respond to increased demand for services without having to worry about their capacity to cope."

The move is the latest in a series of measures taken by the County Council and its partners to support the community and businesses in Cambridgeshire.

Councillor Tuck also recently chaired a special meeting of Cambridgeshire Together - which is a group of public sector and voluntary organisations whose aim is to improve the quality of life of everyone who lives, works, trains and travels in Cambridgeshire - that agreed a range of special measures to help communities in the tough times ahead, including:

Making easily accessible information available on issues such as council tax and benefits, and how to deal with rogue traders and loan sharks

By making sure that investment in infrastructure (such as transport) continues or increases, including encouraging the completion of existing housing schemes

Investing in skills and training for people in work and those finding themselves out of work

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