This week London Councils voted to cut funding for over 200 groups working with London's most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents. Organisations placed in category's B and C will lose funds in June.
This cut will reduce the current London Boroughs Grant Scheme from £26.4 million to a core scheme of £9.875 million - a cut of £16.875 million, or 63.5%. Borough Leaders will be free to use the saved funds for any purpose they want.
ROTA appreciates the recognition by London Councils that supporting historically excluded groups goes beyond borough boundaries. Thus the decision by London Councils to continue funding the work of Category A organisations until 2012 is most welcome. This means that some voluntary and community sector organisations will be able to continue providing invaluable support to disadvantaged communities across London.
Yet an alphabet is long.... Indeed, beside the Category As are the Bs and Cs. These are the ones set to lose out from the simultaneous decision to stop funding a number of frontline organisations in July 2011.
ROTA supports the work of many of these organisations. They provide immeasurable support to local communities and because of this, they are often more vulnerable to the prevailing uncertainty of the present climate. Without the dedicated work of organisations like the nia project, for example, young women and girls affected by violence will be isolated. And what of their future?
Elizabeth Henry, ROTA CEO said: "Working for change and making a difference where it matters most is a long and pressing task. Big Society is supposed to speed up this process and include us all in the change.
Yet withdrawing the money from frontline organisations who provide essential grass roots services where otherwise there are none, shows little consideration for those at the margins, ignored and most often invisible.
At ROTA we are deeply concerned that these cuts will result in a disproportionate negative impact on BAME communities. London Councils funding has been the backbone for many disadvantaged BAME communities as mainstream services have been unaware of, or lacking in the expertise, to address their needs."