Norfolk charities encouraged to come up with fresh ideas to save funds
- Credit: Hannah Carty
The harsh reality of funding cuts has been emphasised to charity bosses at a special event in Norwich, where an £100,000 fund to help with changes was also unveiled.
The event, organised by the charity Musical Keys and entitled Keys to Success, followed hot on the heels of Norfolk County Council detailing its plans to cut £189m from its budget over the next three years.
As charities around Norfolk prepare to see their county council funding cut and start to think about changes they will have to make, yesterday's event at the UEA Sportspark soon took on added significance.
That was because Steve Morphew, cabinet member for finance in the Labour and Lib Dem administration at County Hall, agreed to speak at the meeting about what the budget cuts will mean for charities.
Mr Morphew, who was elected as county councillor for the Catton Grove ward of Norwich in May, revealed that an £100,000 fund has been set up for charities as part of the county council's Spend to Save scheme.
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Last week the council started a consultation on its plans for how it intends to fill an £189m hole left by a cut to its central government funding between 2014 and 2017.
It will need to find £66.5m of savings in the first two years and £56m in the third year, on top of £140m already saved in the last three years.
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Mr Morphew said: 'Cutting services is not part of my DNA, it's not how I work. I could stand here and give party political reasons for why we shouldn't be where we are, but the bottom line is we are and there is a huge (financial) hole to fill, and we should focus on the task at hand.'
He encouraged the charities to be creative and entrepreneurial in their approach to funding problems, continuing: 'Because we don't want to do it, I'm not going to try to defend the number of proposals that are there.
'What we really want is people to come up with their own ideas so that we don't have to do some things.'
The county council consultation is continuing until December 12. Mr Morphew encouraged charity bosses with money saving ideas to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org