THE Council’s proposals to increase the rents of voluntary organisations occupying council property should be a non-starter.
When the said organisations have closed down because the ‘grant givers’ are not going to give grant aid which is destined for Council coffers, the needy will be at the Town Hall seeking help.
Such help will cost much more when provided by the statutory sector.
As for Councillor Dormer’s statement that the Council will have to operate more commercially if they are to sustain front line services, surely the vulnerable, disabled, mentally ill and elderly citizens of the town should be ‘front line services’?
L White MBE, Woodrow
I SHARE the concern of the many community groups in Redditch who rely on this subsidy to allow them to maintain premises to carry out their important work in Redditch.
We are now beginning to see the effect of years of Government underfunding for local authorities that has seen 60p in every £1 taken away from their Government Revenue funding.
In response to reduced funding from central government for a range of services, these community groups have stepped in to provide support to the community in terms of mental health support, drink and drugs rehabilitation, youth service provision and foodbanks to name but a few.
I fully support the campaign that has been launched to stop these cuts and look forward to working with the next Labour Government when I am elected as MP for Redditch at the next election to restore Central Government funding and support that our Communities so fully deserve.
R Jenkin, Labour Party Parliamentary candidate for Redditch
I HAVE sent this letter to the three Councillors in Church Hill:
I have been told about the Council is wanting to increase the rents to some of the voluntary sector organisations in Redditch in Council properties.
These organisations provide huge amounts of support to those of us who live in the poorer parts of the town.
They provide clubs, activities, groups, and financial support and advice.
They change people’s lives.
Where will we all go and who will help us when these places no longer exist?
How much is it going to cost the Council when they have to pick up the pieces?
How many of us will lose our homes without good financial and budgeting advice?
How many people working for these organisations will lose their jobs and how much is that going to cost everyone?
I have one last question, why is this even being considered?
I implore you and your colleagues please think again.
I Johnson, Church Hill
WELL this is a kick in teeth ….all those hours of work done without pay by people who care about our Redditch Community and this is the thank you!
At a time when people are struggling through financial hardship, health issues, social isolation.,, our vulnerable young people living with the fear of drugs, knife crime heightened by our town being on the county line… and then the voluntary sector have the rug pulled from underneath them who are there to help
How can the Councillors justify in some cases their 300 per cent pay rise – l think this public money should be paid back.
Chair of Redditch Community Forum
I WAS appalled to hear about council plans to phase out concessionary rents for charities and voluntary groups at council run locations.
This is a short sighted idea which aims to increase revenue for the council at the expense of the voluntary sector.
Charities will be force to relocate or close completely if – or rather when – they cannot afford a 70 per cent rent hike.
In this case the council believes it will find new tenants willing to pay full market rates, but makes no plans about how it will support those residents left stranded without their local support networks.
The voluntary sector has been propping up Redditch through years of austerity, providing sanctuary in a hostile financial climate.
A Tory led council is now preparing to change the locks and sell the keys to the highest bidder.
If only they could see that the true value of these organisations is much much more than the rent.
S Harvey, Southcrest
I WAS shocked by the trio of letters in last week’s Standard from some residents who criticised a letter the previous week in which the author was clearly anti-Brexit.
B Latham seems unsure of what M James meant by saying ‘I want my country back.’
Maybe M James wants their friendly, welcoming, hospitable country back, the country whose capital held the Olympics in 2012?
Definitely not the country which gives MPs verbal abuse, makes citizens of European countries feel unwelcome and sees levels of hate crime rise.
The anonymous writer of ‘Not all swivel eyed’ voices their disapproval of people calling those with a different opinion names.
I agree with this, but they do themselves no favours when they use the derogatory term ‘Remoaner’.
And I would like to remind M Field that the commissioners of the European Union are elected by representatives of each member state.
As for youth unemployment, that hasn’t necessarily been caused by the EU but rather the affected countries themselves.
Here is a question which I invite all three to answer – just what will the average person be able to do after we leave the EU which they are not able to do now?
L Kane, Church Hill
WHILST visiting Redditch town centre recently, I noticed homeless people near the Kingfisher Shopping Centre.
One of these unfortunate people appeared to have learning disabilities and an alert needs to be lodged with Worcestershire County Council.
At the very least, a social services outreach team,’ needs to be deployed urgently.
I will be monitoring the ongoing situation closely.
J Ridarta, Bromsgrove