Community cohesion groups in Oldham to get £200k in grants
Reporter: Charlotte Green (Local Democracy Reporting)
Date published: 16 May 2019
There are warnings the funding could be cut though in future
Charities and community groups in Oldham are being supported with thousands in grants from the town hall to help promote ‘community cohesion’.
The council has allocated £209,700 to nine groups for the six months until September to back their work in the voluntary, community and faith sector.
The majority of the cash is being given to Action Together – an organisation working across Oldham, Rochdale and Tameside which supports and advises individual volunteers, groups and organisations.
These include Adventure Based Learning which helps young care leavers in Oldham, the Fullwood Rangers community garden and OPAL which helps people with learning disabilities in the borough.
However, Action Together’s portion of the fund – £132,500 – will have to be signed off by the borough’s cabinet at a future meeting.
Additionally, Oldham Credit Union and Oldham Interfaith Forum are to benefit to the tune of £18,000 each.
And Greenacres Community Association and Werneth and Freehold CDP are both receiving £16,000 in grant funding.
Oldham Carnival will get a £3,000 boost, with Stop Hate UK to receive £2,200.
And National Play Day and Oldham Pride will get £2,000 apiece.
But this funding may not be assured in the future as council bosses tighten their belts and cut money from the authority’s budget.
The report by the stronger communities officer states: “The council currently allocates funding to a number of third sector groups through the priority programme fund, community cohesion and community festival budgets.
“As a result of the proposed reductions to all council service budgets in 2019/20 there is the potential for funding to the groups specified to be affected.
“In the event that funding to the groups is to be reduced or withdrawn, the six-month extension will allow time for a formal consultation process to be undertaken.
“Funding for community festivals will also be considered as part of the process for identifying any budget savings.”
There have already been a number of cuts to the cohesion budget, which aims to bring about equality of opportunity, eliminate disadvantage and improve life chances for residents.
This means there are only a fraction of the number of organisations that received support this year compared with previous years – this is the result of savings and ‘changing council priorities’ according to the report.
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