Friday, 29 October 2010

Council faces spending challenge from voluntary groups in Leeds

Voluntary and community groups from across Leeds are being given the chance to quiz the city council about future spending challenges next week.

Third Sector Leeds, an alliance of voluntary and community organisations, charities, faith groups and social enterprises has organised a meeting on Monday at Civic Hall.

It takes place in the main council chamber from 9am until 12pm.

The council’s chief executive, Tom Riordan, director of adult social care, Sandie Keene and director of resources Alan Gay will take part in a discussion to explain how the council is responding to the budget cuts announced in last week’s comprehensive spending review.

Questions will also be asked of Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for adult social care.

As a result of the government’s cuts, Leeds City Council is expecting to have approximately £150 million less to spend by 2014/15.

It has made clear that some services will have to be reduced, others stopped altogether and new ways of delivering services explored.

For members of Third Sector Leeds, the meeting will be their opportunity to talk to and influence decision makers and find out how the cuts might impact on their organisations’ own budgets.

Kathryn Fitzsimmons, chair of Third Sector Leeds said:

“The contribution of the third sector to the development of Leeds and the well being of its citizens is recognised and valued.

“We deliver a diverse range of activities and services which reach and represent some of the most marginalised individuals and communities.

“We also make an important contribution to the economic strength of the city, with 20,000 employees and a wage equivalent value of close to £40m.

“Monday’s meeting is crucial if we are to properly understand the challenges ahead and for us to strengthen our relationship with the city council.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for adult social care, said:

“Despite the financial challenges ahead, Leeds City Council, NHS Leeds and the voluntary alliance Third Sector Leeds are committed to continuing their tradition of working closely and effectively together.

“We will make sure that we work together, where possible, to ensure that the resources available to the city are used to deliver the best possible services for the people of Leeds, particularly the most vulnerable.

“The council, NHS Leeds and Third Sector Leeds have recently agreed a new joint working agreement which is called the ‘compact for Leeds’.

“It demonstrates our joint view that a thriving third sector is essential if Leeds is to meet the many challenges it faces in the next few years.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council (0113) 395 0393