The City of Edinburgh Council today agreed a budget which recognises the value and worth of the Third Sector. All the political parties in the council acknowledged the importance of the work that we do as a sector: working with communities to ensure early intervention and prevention of crisis, as well as working with the most vulnerable citizens.
The Courage to Collaborate report was cited as a vital element contributing to the budget decision-making process. EVOC, Volunteer Centre Edinburgh and Edinburgh Social Enterprise Network once again extend our thanks to those of you who participated in the various consultations we held.
In particular, it is worth noting that the Council recognises the impact of Welfare Reform as a risk to the budget calculations. For this reason, it agreed to an amendment which awarded £100,000 toward income maximisation services for people on benefits.
The following elements of the budget impact directly upon the sector:
- Investment of £558K in 2013/14 for the recruitment and retention of more Council foster carers, to reduce use of independent foster agencies (with a planned further investment over the following four years of £8.267m)
- Investment of £725K in 2013/14 for the support of children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (with a planned further investment over the following four years of £7.057m)
- Investment of £1.2m in 2013/14 for grant funding to third sector organisations, reversing the reduction proposed in the draft budget
- Maintained funding of £1m toward the Edinburgh Guarantee, for a further year, to continue support of young people into employment
- Reinstatement of £800K in grant funding for a further year, to continue support of employability services
- Award of £100,000 toward income maximisation services for people on benefits
- Restoration of £50K toward the adaptations service, to ensure that disabled or older people are able to remain in a home setting
- Providing additional £200K revenue funding toward Keeping Older People Healthier, to enable more elderly care in the community
- Additional investment of £2m toward provision of care for an increasing number of older people, to support them in their own homes
- Additional investment of £2.9m to meet the needs of people with physical and learning disabilities
In addition to these specific budget items, the Council also resolved:
- to encourage all service providers working with/on behalf of the Council to roll–out adherence to the Living Wage, following its introduction for Council staff earlier this year
- to hold a review of the grants to third parties process during 2013/14; this will be conducted in partnership with third sector stakeholders, with an aim to ensure financial stability for organisations, as well as value for money for the Council
- to publish the draft 2014/15 budget by the end of September 2013, with the aim of ensuring greater public consultation.
So once again, watch this space for developments.