(Courtesy of Leicester Mercury)
“Nearly £90,000 is set to be cut from the funding for six community organisations.
Leicester City Council spends £286,000 on contracts with groups providing services to support different communities and help tackle inequality.
It intends to reduce that to about £200,000.
The proposed cuts could affect the African Caribbean Citizens Forum, The Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO), the Gujurat Hindu Association, Leicester Council of Faiths, The Race Equality Centre and The Somali Development Service.
All the groups generally supply advice and training to residents and have received long-term grant support from the council.
The council has launched a 12-week public consultation as part of a review looking at whether the services currently provided reflect the changing demographic make-up of the city.
Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “The voluntary and community sector has played an important role in promoting community cohesion in Leicester for many years and we recognise the experience, knowledge and skills it brings to the city.
“But as the city’s demographic make-up changes, it is important we know – and can show – we are keeping pace with its changing population.
“The contracts we have with these organisationsbeen in place for some years.
“With increasing demands on council finances, it is important we allocate funding in ways that offer the most benefit to the city and that we work with the right groups on the right issues.
“This consultation will allow anyone to have a say on whether we are accurately representing the city’s key communities.”
The consultation is part of a continuing review of the council’s funding to the voluntary and community sector.
That has looked at support for volunteering and training and support for voluntary and community groups.
Following opposition to the review and the threat of a potentially costly legal challenge, Leicester City Council agreed to look again at the proposals and has extended funding to the affected groups until October.
FMO spokesman Suleman Nagdi said: “We are in a very challenging situation but we understand the need of the local authority to make savings.
“We do, however, bring value for that money. We represent 200 affiliates and the council must ask itself if it would be cheaper to deal with one organisation or multiple ones.”We think this is a time when the Muslim community needs a strong voice more than ever.”
The consultation runs until May 29.”