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CC(3)-18-10 Paper 8

Submission to the Communities and Culture Committee from Wales Council for Voluntary Action concerning the Social Justice and Local Government Main Expenditure Group (MEG) in the draft Welsh budget

In examining the draft budget released by the Welsh Assembly Government last week, there are a number of areas which WCVA believes need particular investigation and explanation within the Social Justice and Local Government MEG as these are of particular interest to the third sector and to communities in Wales. These are highlighted within the attached spreadsheet, in which the percentage year on year changes in funding are also shown.

Revenue funding

The overall drop in revenue funding in the MEG is 1.7% in year one then a rise in the next two years of 0.1% in year 2 and 1.1% in year 3. WCVA is asking the Communities and Culture Committee to ascertain why some Actions are being far less favourably treated than others and consider the impact this may have on those organisations and services funded via these Actions.

WCVA and the third sector are particularly interested in an explanation of the reductions in expenditure on the following Actions:

  • Third Sector – the 9.7% decrease in funding for year 3

  • Communities First – the 11.4% decrease in year 2

  • Social Enterprise – the 2.9%, then 13.5%, then 15.6% decrease each year

  • Local Government Scrutiny and Standards – the decreases, year on year, of 6.1%, 5.1% and 7.2%.

  • The Actions in Equality Diversity and Inclusion, averaging decreases of 2.9%, 3.6% and 6.7% year on year.

In the specific portfolio area of Culture, whilst the sector is encouraged that there is continued support to sustain a strong arts sector via the Arts Council and others we hope that the Welsh Assembly Government will ensure that any cuts are made from within operational budgets rather than from the direct funding  provided to voluntary arts organisations and programmes.

Capital Funding

The overall drop in Capital funding in the MEG is 20.3% in year one, 7% in year 2 and 10.9% in year 3.

Again in this area WCVA is asking the Communities and Culture Committee to ascertain why some Actions are being far less favourably treated than others.

WCVA and the third sector are particularly interested in an explanation of the reductions in expenditure on the following Actions:

  • Communities First – the complete withdrawal of funding at the end of the current financial year

  • Social Enterprise – stable in year one, drops 25% in year 2 and drops a further 33.3% in year three.

  • Domestic Abuse – stable in year one, drops 28.6% in year 2 and 40% in year 3.

  • Gypsy Travellers – funding drops 20%, 12.5% and 14.3% year on year.

Conclusion

WCVA hopes that these issues may be investigated and addressed by the Communities and Culture Committee and that the outcomes of this will factor into to Committees’ overall report to the Finance Committee.

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