The cuts kick in: Ten vital Fife groups face up to fewer funds

A KIRKCALDY voluntary organisation which provides drug and alcohol support for young people is among a number of groups which will see their Council funding cut from this year.

Around 10 Fife organisations will get reduced grants for the new financial year.

These include:

l Clued-Up Project, which offers a comprehensive youth friendly drug information and support service to young people under 25

l Home-Start, which has branches in Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly

l Fife Gingerbread.

The move was approved by members of the Council’s social work and health committee, which met on Friday.

Of all the groups mentioned, Clued-Up faces one of the biggest reductions.

It will see its grant slashed by £55,000 - a drop of almost 30 per cent on 2010-2011.

Nick St Aubyn, organisation chairman, said: “This will have an impact.

‘‘We will no longer be able to provide the same level of crisis intervention.’

He said Clued-Up would reduce the drop-in service at its Kirkcaldy base, which is currently open 26 hours per week for 16 to 25 year olds affected by substance misuse and homelessness.

This will decrease the availability of immediate crisis support, and triage assessment where currently there is no waiting list and no appointment necessary.

He added: “As Clued-Up’s core service will be refocusing our expertise on high tariff young people only, the prevention and early intervention work we provide will substantially reduce, resulting in others being unable to access its support at an earlier stage in their lives.”

£8000 cut

Home-Start Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly, which supports vulnerable families, will see their grants slashed by over £8000 - a cut of nine per cent.

While Fife Gingerbread, which offers support and advice for lone parent families, faces a cut of £10,000, almost 10 per cent.

Councillors raised questions over the funding reductions and whether there had been consultation with the affected groups.

Councillor Alex Rowley pointed out that in the case of Homestart Lochgelly 10 less families would receive support as a result of the funding cut.

A report which went before councillors said: “Following consideration of the funding allocated to a wide range of voluntary organisations, the proposals put forward will result in a reduction in funding for some organisations.

‘At risk’ protected

‘‘These reductions are targeted to make sure children, young people and families most in need, or at risk, are protected.”

Alistair Gaw, head of service for children and families and criminal justice services, confirmed there had been a chance for organisations to meet with service managers, and the decisions made were not easy.

He added: “For most of these organisations, social work and Council is not the only funding source. We will be making sure they get the help and support they need to identify other sources of funding.”