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£10m of funding cuts to charities quashed by judge: compact principles upheld

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Mon, 31/01/2011

Three London charities have won the right to a judicial review challenge of London Councils’ decision to cut £10 million of funding. They should also receive further funding beyond any fresh decision made following the new process, in line with compact principles.

On behalf of the claimants, Pierce Glynn solicitors announced that on Friday 28 January 2011, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith held that London Councils’ consultation process was flawed and that they had failed to meet their statutory equality duties. All the funding cut decisions for 200 plus projects were quashed, which would have affected tens of thousands of Londoners. He said that London Councils must re-run the process, this time with full equality impact assessments.

The message from Compact Voice is for all government agencies to use the principles of their Compact to improve their partnership working and achieve better outcomes. We also encourage any voluntary or community sector organisation that wants to strengthen or enforce their Compact to seek advice from Compact Voice. Organisations concerned that a public body has not considered their Compact commitments when taking a decision are encouraged to contact NCVO’s Compact Advocacy Programme.

Every local authority in England has a Compact, which clearly sets out arrangements for managing change. These include carrying out impact assessments, consulting with groups and organisations, and giving at least three months notice to ending or changing any funding.

Simon Blake, Chair of Compact Voice, welcomed the ruling:
"This ruling is good news for service users and the voluntary and community organisations that work hard to provide them with vital services. Our sector is facing massive cuts in-spite of councils promising to prioritise front line services. Only by working together with our sector can local and national authorities fully assess the impacts of proposed cuts and set their budgets to the best interests of their communities and citizens.

“With major changes in relationships and funding across the country, more than ever both parties need to know, and stick by, the 'rules of the game'."

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Please direct enquiries to Rosalind Stannard, Interim Communications Officer on 0207 520 2486 or rosalind.stannard@compactvoice.org.uk.