Increase in fund-raising

MONTROSE YM is having to increase its fund-raising activities to try to offset a cut in its funding from Angus Council and the suspension of its popular community cafe.

In a report to councillors this week, education convener Neil Logue said that while the YM’s service level agreement with the authority had been extended earlier this year to March, 2013 that the legal status of the funding arrangements reflected by the service level agreement had been clarified.

As a result, the YM’s funding has been reduced by 3.5 per cent to £10,334 annually. A cut has also been applied to funding for the Forfar Drugs Initiative and the Cafe Project in Arbroath, both of which also have service level agreements with the council.

Mr Logue said: “It has been ascertained that they are grant funding of the voluntary bodies concerned as opposed to purchase of services. Accordingly, they may be treated as outwith the council’s procurement arrangements; no further exemptions under financial regulations are required.

“Taking account of the overall financial position of the council and the education service in particular, a reduction of 3.5 per cent has been applied to the level of funding made available to each of the agencies within the terms of the service level agreements.”

The YM established its community cafe around three years ago to help boost its income after several of its funding sources dried up due to the recession, but recent staff changes have meant that its opening hours have been cut back and manager Val Cooper is currently seeking volunteers to help out.

She said: “All councils are cutting back and it means that we will just have to be careful as well. What’s important is that there hasn’t been a cut in the practical support we get from Angus Council in terms of supervision, guidance and assistance, especially from their external funding department and community learning and development.

“We’ve done well with local people doing things for us over the last few months but we’ll have to do more local fund-raising.”