Charities lose £1.3m in funding

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CHARITIES in Suffolk and south Norfolk are set to lose more than £1.3 million in funding as local authorities tighten their budgets.

Research conducted by the Trades Union Congress revealed that 2,215 charities in England are losing some, or all, of their funding.

In Suffolk and south Norfolk, 44 charities have had their funding reduced and 21 have had funding from local authorities completely withdrawn.

The figures, based on Freedom of Information responses from local councils, show that charities and voluntary groups are facing challenges just one year on from the launch of the Government’s Big Society.

Bury St Edmunds-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre Focus12 has been dealt another blow, losing more than £4,000 funding. The charity lost its £130,000 contract with the Suffolk Drug and Alcohol Action Team earlier this year.

Chip Somers, chief executive of Focus12, said: “This will have a devastating effect on our ability to survive, we have had to make three people redundant.

“It means that we can’t treat anyone from Suffolk unless they can self-fund, which we feel is a loss to the residents of Suffolk.”

Organisations in Babergh, Breckland, Forest Heath, St Edmundsbury, and Suffolk are all affected.

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said that in many cases the county council was passing on reductions in government funding or buying fewer services and therefore paying less.

She added that some cuts were a case of direct reduction in grants as the county council battles to save £125 million in the next three years, but that figures should be viewed in context of the £55 million that funds the third sector each year.