Small charities ‘priced out of council contracts’

Small charities are being “priced out and scaled out” of bidding for local authority contracts and it is “inevitable” that charities will take over some local government services, local government representatives have told the Lords Select Committee on Charities.

Appearing before the committee, Daniel Hurford, head of policy at the Welsh Local Government Association, and Robert Light, a Kirklees councillor, both said that the funding cuts faced by councils and the shift from grants to contracts had had a negative impact on local charities

Hurford said that despite a general understanding from the charity sector that local authorities were facing severe budget reductions, “there is increasing tension over how that funding is distributed to the sector”.

He said there was a risk that smaller organisations “are priced out and scaled out of the market” and the increasing focus on larger contracts with bigger organisations meant the charity sector risked losing “some of the value it brought as a body, both as a potential deliverer of services but also as a representative body, as an advocate and as having local community ties”.


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