On why the voluntary sector is a priority

Last week the Council announced that, for the third year in a row, it will be protecting the amount of money it gives in grants to voluntary sector organisations. And that’s despite the dramatic reductions in the Council’s own budget which has been cut by some £50 million since 2010.

Frankly it’s not been all that easy to protect cash for voluntary organisations again this year. In fact to make it possible, sacrifices have had to be made elsewhere and for that reason I thought I should spend a little time explaining why for us the voluntary sector is a priority. Continue reading

On why reserves are necessary to protect services and invest in the future

As I descend ever deeper into middle age, I find the BBC’s Question Time ever more difficult to watch.  Even in the programme’s pomp under Sir Robin Day I might occasionally have been irritated by a panellist who rather than a thoughtful response acknowledging the complexity of an issue would instead deliver a ‘clap line’ designed to get the audience applauding like seals.  But these days the clap lines seem to have taken over [and that’s not good for my ulcers].  And sadly clap lines are not confined to Question Time; they have been creeping into local politics too.

The one I am currently contending with is this: every time we have to make a tough decision, up pops the usual suspects to say “you don’t have to do this, Kensington and Chelsea has got massive reserves.” Continue reading