Nottinghamshire council U-turn on voluntary funding

Nottinghamshire County Council is reinstating £450,000 of proposed cuts to voluntary groups after an uproar against the cuts during consultation.

The council had been planning to halve its £3.3m contribution to groups like the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Deputy council leader Martin Suthers said the money would come from reserves.

More than half of 67,000 people consulted over the cuts were against reductions in this area, he said.

Care homes

Mr Suthers said the authority was earmarking £25,000 for the Citizens Advice Bureaus in former mining areas like Mansfield and Worksop.

The council cuts to the advice bureaus will be reduced from £200,000 to £175,000 - giving them more time to find other sources of income.

Advice bureau managers had said the cuts might force the closure of some centres in Nottinghamshire.

"We have had 67,000 individual comments on the draft budget proposals … 57% were broadly in favour, but the concern about the voluntary sector was the area where the most people disagreed," Mr Suthers said.

The county council is also changing the timetable for introducing the increase charged to residents of council care homes.

The weekly charge for staying in a council-run care home will still rise by 44% to £650, but the increase will be phased in over two years.

The council said the increased charges will only apply following a full financial assessment of an individual's income and savings - and about 20% of residents will pay the increased fee.

John Hunt from Worksop, whose parents sold their home and moved to a council home, said they will still need to pay an additional £200 a week despite the council announcement.

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