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Cuts confirmed for Burton YMCA, but the fight goes on

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 19, 2014

By Laura Hammond

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A DECISION to slash funding for Burton's YMCA has been upheld, after councillors refused to accept that the process which led to the decision had been flawed.

The organisation is set to lose £180,000 from Staffordshire County Council, after the authority confirmed it would be making significant cuts to its supporting people budget.

An appeal has been launched by the YMCA against the cuts, which bosses say will seriously impact on its ability to deliver services.

Chief executive Paul Laffey said: "This represents a very substantial part of our budget and will undoubtedly have a direct impact on our ability to provide accommodation and other services for homeless young people living in the town as well as on the number of people that we directly employ.

"We have already lobbied strenuously to Staffordshire County Council within the consultation period they have set to no avail. However, there is an appeals process in place and we are making a last-ditch effort to try to get them to reverse their decision. We urge Burton people to make their views known."

Around 200 contracts will be affected by the move, but councillors say the change will lead to a 'more co-ordinated support.

He said: "Instead of looking at areas such as mental health, homelessness, addiction or repeat offending in isolation, we want to offer a joined-up, countywide approach which focuses more on preventing people falling into crisis."

Politicians on both sides of the divide have spoken out to urge the council to reconsider the cuts. Tory MP Andrew Griffiths and Jon Wheale, the Labour man vying for his job, have both called for the YMCA to be allowed to continue its 'vital work'.

The news comes in the week that Swadlincote charity P3 Housing has been told it will lose all funding from next year.

Councils are slashing budgets following cuts in central Government grants.

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