In the news last week...

Weekly roundup of sector news from the DSC research team.

Councils in the most deprived areas suffering the most

Research published last week by the New Policy Institute (NPI) shows that councils in the most deprived areas have been hit the hardest with funding cuts. The research shows that:

  • 97% of total cuts in spending on ‘disadvantage’ have fallen on the fifth most deprived councils despite them also having higher numbers of people in need
  • to meet immediate crisis costs local authorities are having to shift spending away from preventative services, meaning further costs down the line
  • Councils across the country are being forced to make difficult spending decisions
  • reductions in government grants, coupled with the reduced capacity of poorer areas to raise their own taxes, will further undermine the link between an area’s need and its funding

A revival of grant-making has been a longstanding ask by the Grants for Good campaign, which DSC supports – find out how you can get involved here.

Charities criticised by lords over transparency and campaigning

Members of the House of Lords have used a debate on the Lobbying Act to criticise charities over a lack of transparency, particularly around donations and campaigning. A Conservative member of the house, said that he felt some charities had gone “beyond their remits to engage in political campaigns, using donations from members of the public and government grants to do so”. The debate was called by Lord Harries of Pentregarth to urge the government to revisit proposed amendments which would have benefitted charities.  He added that: “There are important things to be done irrespective of Brexit, and one of them is improving the ill-thought-out and chilling legislation of part 2 of the Lobbying Act.”

The Directory of Social Change supported the Sheila McKechnie Foundation to gather evidence about the impact of the Lobbying Act on campaigning by civil society organisations. Read the six key findings from the research project here.