Exceptional demands are being placed upon charities and volunteers as a result of severe public spending cuts. Already, half of our libraries are volunteer-run and the survival of most of our Children's Centres requires charitable funding and a lot of volunteers.
Neither of these services will have the numbers of specialists that were previously funded before County cuts were made. Oxfordshire's Green County Councillors are calling for a 'capacity survey' by the County Council of charities which may run a 'skeleton' version of former County services in future. David Williams explains:
Charity funding and numbers of volunteers are not infinite. Charity income has been largely static since about 2008. Volunteer numbers decreased slightly in the recent past. Assertions by Government, or councils, that the charitable sector can support services seem questionable at best.
Sam Coates adds:
Our motion to the next County Council will push the County to try to determine which services can be sustained with charity support. It should also attempt to show where this is not possible due to costs or the need for specialist workers. Ultimately, our motion could help to show what is actually possible with charity sector engagement in delivery of services, and what requires increased funding of local government to provide.