Council responds to Pickles

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Notts County Council has responded to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on its grant aid funding.

Eric Pickles wrote to the council in January asking it to ensure grant aid funding for the voluntary and community sector was in line with Government guidance.

The response from Deputy Leader Martin Suthers argues the council has followed the guidance by providing three months notice for this year’s funding by extending current grant aid agreements until the end of June.

The letter goes on to say that many of the grants will be provided over a three-year period, giving more security.

Coun Suthers also clarifies the reduction in grant aid from £3.15 million to £2.07 million was around a third, which he says is proportionate with other reductions and the council’s reduced Government grant.

The letter argues that the council’s grant aid budget in 2010/11 was larger than many other county councils and the current budget is now in line with other authorities.

Coun Suthers said the council had to make ‘difficult decisions’ due to reduced Government grants and increasing demand for services.

“We have embraced the Government’s guidance on grant aid by making it easier for the voluntary sector to apply and use the funding so they can get on with the job,” he said.

“We are working with local voluntary groups to help them make the most of their grants and find the necessary savings whilst protecting their frontline service.”

“Grant aid is only a very small part of the county council’s funding to the voluntary sector.”

Both letters are online at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/conversation