Merton Council has demonstrated its continued commitment to supporting the local voluntary sector, with over £9.5 million of funding being allocated to various organisations, community groups charities and projects in the borough for 2017/18.
The funding was revealed following the publication of the Voluntary Sector Funding Database 2017/18, which includes details of cash grants, commissioned services, notional funding and discretionary rate relief given by each of the council’s departments. While figures collected by the council’s funding officers show a reduction from the previous year of 2016/7, this is a result of the overall reduction in local government funding from central government.
Nonetheless, Merton Council’s support for the voluntary sector is seen with a minimal reduction of its cash grants from the previous year, with nearly £2million being paid to local groups. Over £500,000 has also been allocated to assist non-profit making bodies with discretionary rate relief on the properties they occupy.
The funding recognises the valuable role of the local voluntary sector in the borough in meeting the needs of residents across key services including health, children and the environment – highlighting the important part volunteering plays in contributing to positive outcomes for all Merton residents.
Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Engagement and Equalities, Councillor Edith Macauley said: “We welcome the funding. More often than not, local voluntary organisations are the bedrock of a community. As a borough we are fortunate to have a diverse variety of voluntary organisations who provide an essential helping hand to the lives of our residents, at whatever stage of life they may find themselves at.
“From supporting carers of older people with disabilities to funding holiday clubs for children it is imperative that we do what we can to ensure these groups continue to flourish and thrive so that all our residents can benefit from the exceptional services they provide.”
A total of £9,658,906 is to be shared between 83 different voluntary groups across Merton for 2017/18.