Funding verdict delay

Paracetamol/headache tablets / painkillers/ Asprins have been linked with a cure for cancer
Paracetamol/headache tablets / painkillers/ Asprins have been linked with a cure for cancer

MOVES to delay a decision which could force the closure of a number of drug and alcohol charities across Fife have been welcomed.

And the groups at risk have now come together to fight their corner.

Ben Conway, chairman of the Health and Social Care Partnership, which met on Thursday, confirmed the committee would defer its verdict on grant funding until August.

The decision came after local charities, which include the Clued-Up Project in Kirkcaldy, Fife Alcohol Support Service, Aberlour Childcare Trust, DAPL, DELTA and LOST, expressed concerns that jobs and services would be cut if a proposal by Fife and Alcohol Drug Partnership to switch £1m of funding to national organisations went ahead.

The shock plan was due to be discussed last Thursday.

More time

But Peter Grant, Council leader, and Alex Rowley, Labour Group leader, both asked for more time to study the implications.

The move to award the money to national organisations came as a shock to the long-established local charities.

They have now formed a new group which is committed to support the value of local voluntary sector services - and to find the best way forward.

Mary Hill, spokesman, who is also director of DELTA, said it appreciated the support it had received.

She added: “The formation of this group was driven by a passion and commitment to providing quality services locally in our communities.

‘‘This pause will allow a period of reflection, options appraisal and evidence gathering. We offer the group’s full commitment to help in any way it can.”

Mr Rowley added: “There is a lot of concern about the way this matter has been dealt with.

‘‘Until there is greater transparency I don’t believe it would be right or proper to even consider this report.”

Mr Grant said that he too had received a lot of complaints about the process.