Tory MP calls for council not to cut charity spending

Fareham Community Hospital in Salisbury Green

Picture: Paul Jacobs

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PORTSMOUTH North MP Penny Mordaunt has called on the city's council not to make huge cuts to charity spending.

The Tory spoke in the House of Commons of the importance of groups such as Community First, Motiv8 and the Beneficial Foundation.

She said: 'The third sector (charities) make a huge contribution to the quality of life of everyone in my constituency,

'But there are very real threats to its capacity to expand, and even maintain, its work in the community.

'Local authorities are faced with reduced grants from central Government.

'It would be a lazy council that responded to the challenge of a reduced budget by cutting funding to the third sector.

'Authorities must harness the power of the third sector rather than stifling it and running it down. But unless it can be sure of transition funding, some activities might have to stop.

'The ill-effects of its absence will be keenly felt and the council will need to re-establish provision but probably council-provided.'

In response, Lib Dem council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: 'We provide more than 5m per year to voluntary groups, and we will do all we can to support it as we always have.

'It's impossible for us to tell charities how much they will get until we know how much money we have.'