06 September 2007

Scaremongering or running scared?

In an extraordinary move, Tory H&F cabinet member Cllr Antony Lillis has written to 58 voluntary organisations in the borough saying that their council grant from this October (ie next month) is under threat.

Cllr Lillis blames a judicial review due in the high court on 26 September brought by three individuals concerned by the council's 60% cut in funding to Hammersmith & Fulham Law Centre.

By issuing threats to 58 organisations, Cllr Lillis is either trying to 'divide and rule' voluntary organisations - or he is seriously worried that the council will lose in the high court. In that case he should resign rather than threaten the future of many local organisations.

Cllr Lillis is also adamant there are no cuts in funding for the sector overall - just 'reprioritisation'. The truth is:
* overall funding for 2007-8 is £4.276 million but that hides a big cut within the year: from April-September funding is £2.345 million; from October-March it drops to £1.930 million with the new grants regime
* then in 2008-9 funding is slashed from £4.276 million to £3.182 million - a cut of 26% in one year!

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