Phil Wilson MP speaks to charities as new report projects a £4.6bn funding gap in the voluntary and community sector over the next 5 years.
Phil Wilson, Member of Parliament for Sedgefield, is conducting a survey of local charities as new regional and national reports this week regarding the income to the voluntary sector and its future sustainability.
Government funding to the voluntary and community sector has been falling over the last 5 years in all regions apart from London and the South East according to NVCO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations). The NVCO's new review published this week projected a £4.6bn annual shortfall in the voluntary and community sector income over the next 5 years.
A report by Northern Rock Foundation (Third Sector Trends) also launched this week, highlighted that charities and community organisations located in the poorest areas of the region were more than four times as likely to have lost significant levels income in the last two years (30%) when compared with the richest areas (7%).
Phil Wilson MP says, “I believe in strong communities. The charity sector plays a significant role in building strong communities. It is disappointing to see in areas of most need, the vital support and services provided by the charity sector are being negatively impacted by funding cuts and changes in government policy. At a time when they are needed more than ever we need to look at how we support the sector.”
Phil goes onto explain “I have launched a survey of local charities as I am keen to look at how I can support the sector better. It has never been more important to have people on the ground in our communities, providing activities and supporting those in need. We must therefore do all we can to protect these organisations and ensure they find sustainable ways of continuing the vital services they provide.
Over the next 6 months I hope to have regular dialogue with the sector on various issues from funding to Europe to governance and using social media. The survey is the beginning of this. I am also hoping to get out and visit the many groups and organisations in my constituency.”