Charities fearful over funding cuts

Two of Manchester's Jewish welfare charities are bracing themselves for large losses in local authority funding running up to the Government's comprehensive spending review later this month.

The Federation of Jewish Services, Manchester's largest welfare charity, says possible cuts from four Greater Manchester councils will hit its support networks which do not directly care for the frail, ill or needy.

Mark Cunningham, FJS director of community services, said Manchester, Bury, Salford and Trafford councils are "not guaranteeing anything at the moment, even long-term service. Children's and carers' services on the community side make up around 15 per cent of our income from the local authority. That's what could be vulnerable."

Mr Cunningham also said care for the elderly at Heathlands Care Village, which it recently merged with, may also be squeezed by the tightening of funding criteria meaning less people will qualify for full funding.

"I've got three meetings next week to look at where we think we are vulnerable and what the impact would be so we are ahead of the game," he added.

Brian White, chairman of Manchester Jewish Community Care (MJCC), which runs the Nicky Alliance Day Care Centre, said he is already negotiating with local authorities to save cuts to its £60,000 annual council funding for day care services for the elderly.

He said charities will suffer "a double whammy" through proposed welfare reforms which will see councils giving funding purses to individuals to choose which organisations they wish to receive services from, rather than directly funding charities themselves.

"Not only are councils looking to reduce the amounts they give, they are looking at paying out differently – a completely revised model to pay it to a recipient. It makes it impossible for any organisation to plan its spending because we don't know in advance what money will come in."

Manchester City Council, which provides some of MJCC's funding, said it could "not speculate on any details of the comprehensive spending review until it has been announced".

    Last updated: 3:32pm, January 5 2011