The CEOs of Oxfordshire based charities Community First Oxfordshire and OCVA, Jon Bright and Kathy Shaw respectively, have written a joint letter to the Oxford Mail regarding the proposed budgetary cuts to the voluntary and community sector in Oxfordshire. Read the letter below:
Proposed budget cuts to Oxfordshire’s Voluntary and Community organisations
There is a risk that Oxfordshire County Council’s options for reducing funding of public services, published last week, may cost more than they will save.
Many of the proposed cuts will hit services that prevent worse outcomes for vulnerable children and adults. Take them away and more children may drift into drug misuse and crime. More families will be unable to cope. And more vulnerable adults will be unable to live independently and may require premature, expensive institutional care. This will cost the state much more than the proposed cuts will save.
The work of charities and community organisations complements the statutory services provided by local authorities and the NHS. It can make a real difference. Examples include: county-wide coverage of Good Neighbour type schemes that help older people live well in the community; projects for vulnerable children and young people to improve their education, skills and job prospects; and activities that help those with chronic health conditions live independently.
All activity funded by the tax payer needs to demonstrate its value and cost effectiveness. This is not always easy to measure. But the County Council should take care to protect those services that if reduced or cut altogether will cost it much more.
CEO Community First Oxfordshire (formerly Oxfordshire Rural Communities Council)
CEO Oxfordshire Community and Voluntary Action
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