Reaction from the worst-hit groups

IPSWICH and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality will not be receiving an increase on its �26,800 grant.

IPSWICH and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality will not be receiving an increase on its �26,800 grant.

Director Jane Basham said: “We have has concerns that during the recession the need for services provided by efficient voluntary and community sector organisations like ours - delivering front line advice to people from all our communities - is increasing and not decreasing.

“It is worrying therefore that during such times we are not only having grants frozen or cut - but finding out about our grant allocation very late leaving us struggling to plan services. Smaller organisations are particularly vulnerable and may not survive.”

LIZ Louch, chief executive of Ipswich Council for Voluntary Service, said this year was going to be extremely tough for all in the voluntary sector.

Her organisation's annual grant of �35,000 has been frozen, which after taking inflation into account is cut in real terms by �1,050. “There is a degree of relief that we have not had an actual cut in funding.

“We are aware that cuts to the voluntary sector are being made because of the recession but we will try to help groups who find themselves in difficult and are prepared to make representations on their behalf if they want us to.

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“All charities and voluntary groups invest what money they can - with the return on deposit accounts hovering around 0 per cent, some will find it hard going this year.”

IPSWICH Community Radio has had its �1,000 council grant axed altogether. Peter Greenland, the station manager, who said the cash went towards staff wages, said: “It is disappointing but it is not going to threaten our future.

“More than ever, our services are necessary as people try to cope with the recession.”

THE Alzheimer's Society put a brave face on its frozen grant of �1,500 at a time when the government was giving priority to combating the disease.

“We value the work we do in conjunction with the council and recognise that in these tough times, it has to make some tough choices,” said Penny Simmonds, the charity's Service manager for Suffolk.

“We are looking forward to implementing a county dementia strategy with partner groups in Suffolk and that work will carry on despite the freeze in our annual grant.”

IPSWICH Furniture Project, which top Tory politician Theresa May was shown by the council a couple of years' ago as a good example of community action, has had its grant frozen. Chief executive Bob Whitehead said: “We asked for more cash this year but I am delighted that we will once again be given �10,000. As far as I am concerned, it's good news.”

IPSWICH Caribbean Association said the cut of �5,000 in the council's grant will present “real difficulties.”

Treasurer Albert Grant said: “We put a great deal into the whole of the borough's community, not just black and ethnic minority groups. We raise a lot of the money we need by our own efforts but there is a shortfall and the council cash is vital.

“A recession which is causing misery and uncertainty for a number of Ipswich residents is not the time to wield the axe on voluntary groups. It is callous and unthinking.”

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