Wednesday, April 24, 2024

“Nail In The Coffin” For Voluntary Sector

SENIOR figures from the Voluntary Sector slammed Thurrock Council last night believing they had pronounced a “death sentence” for all voluntary groups in the borough.

Chief Executive of the Thurrock Council for Voluntary Services (CVS), Naya Naqvi had “called in ” the decision by the Tory Cabinet to supply only six months worth of funding while a review of “infrastructure groups” CVS, Trust and Ngage took place.

In a withering attack on the council, Ms Naqvi and Neville Baldwin asserted that the decision to limit funding left a large number of staff in fear for their jobs and all the groups fatally weakened in the negotiating chamber.

Mr Baldwin said: ” The Chief Executive and the Leader of the Council along with leaders from the police, voluntary and faith groups signed the Thurrock Compact. The key principle of which was the decision to work together.

“You have now decided to breach that trust, principle and understanding.

Corporate Director Lorna Payne defended their position saying: “The Compact is all about how things ought to happen.”

Labour councillor Cathy Kent backed the voluntary sector and questioned the council’s principles.

She said: “Partnerships are the key to progress in the borough but the first time this is tested or the first time it is inconvenient for you, you put it to one side.

Unfortunately, she was the only Labour councilor present as Cllrs’ Hipsey and Fish did not attend.

As the story unravelled, Aveley councillor Amanda Wilton (Cons) questioned why key procedures seemed to have been ignored.

She said: “I am on the Grants Panel. We had decided to allocate twelve months funding. Why was that decision not upheld and why were we not informed”

Head of Communities Simon Black said: “The Grants Panel was overtaken by the budget setting process. I don’t know why you were not informed.

Homesteads councillor John Everett backed a decision to reject the call-in saying: “Some companies in this recession exist on a day to day basis. Six months is a very long time.”

Mr Baldwin, now looking visibly frustrated and angry said: “Is it any wonder you are one of the lowest performing councils in respect of communities.

“Tonight you have struck home the final nail in the coffin.”

The call-in was rejected.


  1. Can funds for the CVS not be gained from local businesses? whilst this is seen as a blow to the TCVS it is six months worth of funding and does give time to arrange other means of funding, also there is an election taking place so things could change.

    As this is a Council For Voluntary Services have those who run it thought about volunteering their time to run it rather than taking a salary which I assume that they do?

  2. Lambo,
    How about you volunteering at CVS? , In six months time when the people who work at CVS are off earning a living for someone else, they will need all the help they can get , how about it? do you fancy doing 40 hours a week for nothing, perhaps you have an income to allow you to do it, those of us who are employeed in 3rd Sector organisations need to be paid, were not the volunteers we are professionals provideing a service for the community.

  3. So what is going on? They have six months funding with a review after those six months. Do they have telepathic powers to know the outcome of a review in six months time?

    Everybody knows the axe is going to fall across every public service with figures up to 10 percent being thrown around. Should the voluntary sector be imune when every other public service isgoing to cut?

    One thing that has never been published is a complete list of all council taxpayers money given to voluntayr groups in Thurrock and the amount of this that is being reviewed.

  4. Frodosdad, during my life I have provided many hours on a voultary basis for several different organisations whilst holding down a full time position and yes over 40 hours a week in some instances so it can be done.

    I am not disputing that fact that the people that are working hard at the CVS are full time professionals but as I stated, there is 6 months worth of funding on the table and an election inbetween so things could dramatically change in that time and full funding may then be available, in the mean time would it not be prudent to try and seek alternative funding from the private sector?

  5. I only wish people would question what the council and NHS do with the money they get from tax payers like me. They hand out meagre amounts of our cash to the voluntary and community sector compared to the overall borough level budgets.

    I have volunteered in many capacities during my time in Thurrock and I am sick to death of hearing public servants who are generally paid decent salaries, have subsidised pensions and excellent terms and conditions of service tell people like me that there is no money for neighbourhood level services run by local people who have volunteered to make a contribution to community cohesion.

    There is plenty of money coming into the borough probably in the region of £1bn per year – yes there are a lot of services that need to be provided but there is a lot of duplication across the agencies, lots of money wasted on setting up departments of people to micro manage rather than delegate and empower.

    I want to hear how politicians are going to engage with the electorate post the election. How they intend to work with us to agree what is needed at a local level and treat all the sectors that deliver public services in our community fairly. The CVS and the Beehive is a network of organisations that provide Citizen Advice, Rape and Incest Crisis Support, Services to Older People, support to local forums and community groups, An Independent Resoure Centre for people with disablities etc. They share resources and try to offer a one stop shop approach as well as links to the wider voluntary sector.

    This sector is monitored and measured to death – remember the problem began with the conservative cabinet and conservative group that have pulled this council apart for many years now. Have I got confidence in Cameron and his cronies NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!! They will keep the council tax low and cripple the council through setting a budget that is not adequate to meet the needs of the many – I suggest everyone thinks about what they have to conserve…… you might just be being sold up the river

    Labour didnt always get it right which contributed to them losing control in 2004 but they did make significant inroads into creating a more fair and just borough. Investment in community forums, Area Assemblies with democratic accountability, investment in education, Surestart centre, partnership allotment system led by allotment associations just to name a few…….



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