Charities fear funding axe at Welwyn Hatfield Council meeting tonight

GRANTS for charities in Welwyn Hatfield are set to be cut by �30,000 at a council meeting tonight (Wednesday) – leaving some voluntary organisations fearing for their future.

With savings totalling �1.7m needing to be found, borough councillors are being forced to slash the funding currently given to seven charities – and decide on requests for new grants to two more.

Cash for the council’s Golden Jubilee Award scheme is also under threat.

The charities and organisations which rely on the funding are the Welwyn Hatfield Citizens Advice Bureau, Welwyn Hatfield CVS, Age Concern Hatfield and District Day Centre (Friendship House), St John Of God Hospitaller Services, the Jim McDonald Centre, Relate and the Welwyn Hatfield Women’s Refuge.

The Kaleidoscope Festival and Home Start Welwyn Hatfield have also applied for council funding.

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At tonight’s meeting, the council’s grants board will consider a number of ways to save �30,000 from the �400,000 being asked for in grant requests for 2011/12.

A council spokesman said the decision was being made “in line with the budget cuts”.

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Cllr Irene Dean, chairman of the grants board, said: “We will make the decisions in the same way as previous years, and all decisions we make will have to go to cabinet for approval.”

For more on this story buy this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times.

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