David Cameron tells councils not to cut charity cash

CUTS to charity funding in Welwyn Hatfield look set to stay, despite the Prime Minister urging councils NOT to slash grants for voluntary bodies.

David Cameron spoke out just days after it emerged that Welwyn Hatfield plans to cut �75,000 in charity handouts from its budget from 2011/2012.

The PM was speaking in the House of Commons in response to a question from Bolton West MP Julie Hilling, who said that voluntary groups in her constituency had already lost �89,000 in grants this year.

Mr Cameron said: “We should say to every single council in the country, when it comes to looking at and trimming your budgets, don’t do the easy thing, which is to cut money to the voluntary bodies and organisations working in our communities.

“Look at your core costs. Look at how you can do more for less.

“Look at the value for money you get from working with the voluntary sector.”

Despite the premier’s words, it appears Welwyn Hatfield Council will not alter its decision.

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A council spokeswoman said: “A decision to reduce a budget that results in a cut to any council service is never easy, whether this be frontline services or through the provision of grants.

“As well as a potential reduction in Government grant, the council is receiving less income from charges and its investments.

“Notwithstanding that this council has managed its budget effectively for a number of years and has reduced costs year on year, the financial challenges that all local authorities face means that all budgets are being reviewed in order to achieve a manageable budget next year.”