THE Hillingdon Association of Voluntary Services (HAVS) says that it will eventually have to close if its funding is cut by half as planned.
Hillingdon Council is expected to rubberstamp a 50 per cent reduction in the annual funding it awards the organisation at a cabinet meeting tomorrow (Thursday) evening.
Last year, HAVS received £90,000 from the borough, but it will only receive £48.750 in the 2012/13 financial year. The cuts are due to come into effect from May.
The Association's 2011/2012 allocation was a 15 per cent decrease on the previous year.
HAVS provides training services and support to 421 charities and community groups in the borough, sourcing volunteers and putting them in touch with other organisations.
It says that the funding shortfall is 'massive and disproportionate' and would be disastrous for the groups they assist, in turn impacting on the people they help. It adds that the reduced grant would cause it to close in 12-18 months, once its cash reserves had run out.
Despite this, the local authority looks set to press ahead with the cuts, stating in a report that there is 'no clear evidence presented on the impact on voluntary groups or residents of reduced core funding, for example in respect of quality standards support or small groups support, so it is difficult to measure the true impact and judge how this might be mitigated.'
HAVS could be thrown a valuable lifeline, however - it is awaiting a decision on a bid for a central government grant available to Local infrastructure Organisations (LIOs) that would be worth more than £150,000.
The council announced in December that it would be contributing an extra £400,000 for voluntary services this year, bringing the total budget to more than £1.8 million, but priority for this extra money would go front-line voluntary services and away from 'second tier' organisations.