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Charities to lose out on cash as Fife Council agrees changes to third sector funding

The Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy is among the organisations which could miss out on funding.
The Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy is among the organisations which could miss out on funding.

Organisations benefiting from Fife Council cash are set to lose out after councillors agreed to reform how the local authority supports the third sector.

Around £410,000 of funding has been slashed from the 2021-22 budget, affecting 19 charities and voluntary organisations that could see their funding discontinued following a six-month transition period.

Among the organisations that face being cut off include the Cottage Family Centre in Kirkcaldy, the Drug and Alcohol Project Leven, several Fife branches of family support charity Home-Start, couples counselling service Relationships Scotland and Who Cares? Scotland.

Fife Council.
Fife Council.

The council has undertaken what it calls a “recommissioning programme” for children’s services to save money.

Each year, it funds social enterprises and voluntary groups that provide services complementing council efforts in education and social work.

However, council chiefs say some of the services they were funding were not focused narrowly enough on what the authority is hoping to achieve.

Organisations facing the chop offer more “universal” services such as counselling schemes targeted at parents.

Those continuing to receive funding on an annual basis are explicitly targeted at helping children, such as the Aberlour Childcare Trust, Barnardo’s, Fife Women’s Aid’s children’s services and Childline.

Any organisation that cannot justify receiving funding under the council’s new guidelines will have to seek alternate sources of cash.

Lynn Gillies, children and families service manager, sought to reassure councillors over the support these charities would be given to find alternative sources of funding and would not be, as opposition leader Councillor Dave Dempsey feared, “falling off the edge” after the six months were up.

Scottish Conservative Mr Dempsey said he had been contacted by some of the organisations set to be affected by the changes, adding: “If these organisations are providing a service that is value for money, that’s something we shouldn’t get rid of just because it doesn’t meet a particular brief.”

Ms Gillies responded: “We will work with organisations to look at the scope of what they offer, the wider funding opportunities where there might be a more natural fit for these organisations to enable them to continue to have a footprint in Fife.”

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