VOLUNTARY and charity groups across Cheshire West and Chester have had an assurance about their future funding.
The new council’s executive has agreed that, subject to affordability, it will continue to honour the funding arrangements made by the outgoing councils with what it describes as the third sector – community and voluntary groups, the faiths and social enterprises.
The agreement covers the new financial year which starts on April 1, 2009 when Cheshire West and Chester takes over.
Executive member for area neighbourhoods and community, Cllr John Grimshaw (Con, Eddisbury), said: “We are grateful for the work and services the third sector provides.
“Cheshire West and Chester Council is committed to supporting their important role. We will add clarity to the situation as soon as possible.”
The organisations range from Age Concern and the Citizens’ Advice Bureau to Cheshire Community Action, the Ellesmere Port and Neston Association of Voluntary and Community organisations and Vale Royal Disability Services.
They are developing an assembly for Cheshire West and Cheshire which aims to work on consultation, service delivery and neighbourhood working with the new council.
Councillors were told in a report there were concerns about future funding as many key services are provided to communities through voluntary organisations and charities.
It said it was “imperative” these should continue but without the certainty of continuing funding arrangements, organisations would need to consider various options including issuing redundancy notices.