REDDITCH Borough Council may have put on hold plans to remove its subsidy for voluntary organisations using council premises, but the threat still hangs over local charities.
Speaking earlier this week Liz Williams who runs Reach CIC ar The Space in Winyates Centre said: “This will finish off almost all of the charities in the voluntary and community sector which receive concessions on their rents from the council.
“It makes no sense. How are the people who come to us going to cope – who is going to look after them?
And it’s not just us – what about all the agencies that use this buildings – the council even holds its own sessions here.
What’s going to happen to them?
“Councillors say they have businesses queuing up to move in – have you seen the state of this unit?
“And what businesses will they be – betting shops? That’s the sort of place that can only make things worse here.”
Mary Jones, whose Mental Health Support Group uses The Space in Winyates, said: “We not only deal with mental health issues but the accompanying issues that arise from it, like concerns about benefits, assessments by the Department of Work and Pensions, housing issues, and food banks and family issues, to name a few.
“Austerity policies and service cuts to mental health have impacted on the capacity of individuals to fight for themselves or others.
“Never has support been so needed for this group as they are the most marginalised in our community.”