Stoke-on-Trent City Council, which must cut spending by £35.6 million, faces a high court battle with disability campaigners who claims cuts to charities have been ‘discriminatory’ and ‘rushed through’. I wonder how much of the taxpayer’s money this council will have to waste defending this case?
Charities and the voluntary sector in general need to be careful not to bite the hand that feeds them when it comes to challenging councils on how they spend their discretionary budgets. Unless they can prove that the proposed withdrawal of funding is just a case of rearranging the furniture and that the council will have to pick up the tab in another way, they should accept that this is just one of a number of incredibly difficult decisions councils are having to make.
The logical fallout from this type of action, is that all councils will build in to their future charity contributions something akin to a prenuptial agreement. The agreement would say that, should the council decide to cease funding the organisation for any reason, there can be no legal challenge. If the charity or voluntary organisation is unwilling to sign up to any such agreement, then they can go whistle!