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Charity in petition plea as huge funding cut looms

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 14, 2014

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A CHARITY which supports the homeless in Burton is calling for people to add their name to a petition which has been launched in a bid to prevent hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of crippling budget cuts.

Burton’s YMCA is urging people to lend their support in its hour of need after it was revealed it is likely to lose nearly £200,000 in funding.

Staffordshire County Council recently confirmed it would be cutting around £4 million from its Supporting People fund, which distributes cash to various groups, including domestic violence victims, teenage parents and those with mental health problems.

Bosses fear the loss of the cash would be a devastating blow to the charity, which is based in Hawkins Lane.

A petition has now been launched in a bid to ensure the YMCA doesn’t lose the contract.

It states the cut would ‘leave the most vulnerable people in our society with out the necessary support to live as close to a socially responsible life as possible’.

If the petition gains 5,000 signatures then the council would be forced to reconsider the plan.

YMCA trustee Carl Seager said news of the potential cut had ‘knocked the stuffing’ out of the charity.

Mr Seager said: “Instead of the business plan that we had got in place for the next two years, we now have to come up with a business plan with a £180,000 cut in funding.”

Charities across the county which rely on the Supporting People fund have criticised the move but Alan White, the county council’s cabinet member for care, pledged to work with charities to explore other funding options.

He said: “We have carefully reviewed more than 200 historic contracts with around 40 different organisations and over the past few months we have consulted with organisations about the element of support we provide and the options available.

“We are working with organisations affected by these changes to explore alternative sources of support for residents where necessary.”

The petition can be viewed at www.staffordshire.gov.uk under e-petitions.

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