Supporting the voluntary sector in Calderdale

Cllr Press

The important work of voluntary and community organisations in Calderdale is being recognised by Calderdale Council.  

The voluntary and community sector (VCS) is facing huge challenges but the Council is committed to working in partnership with these important local organisations that provide services and support to some of Calderdale’s most vulnerable residents. 

The sector has proved vital in dealing with major challenges in the borough, such as the Boxing Day floods. It also has an important role tackling poverty and deprivation as well as enhancing our arts and heritage offer and makes a real difference to the lives of people of Calderdale. 

At the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 10 May, members will look at how the Council can strengthen its relationship with the VCS. 

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said: 

“We are proud that Calderdale has strong culture of volunteering and community action, and it’s important we continue to support local voluntary and community organisations through challenging times. 

“We’ve played a pioneering role in developing our relationship with the sector and have been nationally recognised for the innovative projects we’ve pursued in partnership with the VCS, such as our work on asset transfers and looking at how the sector can play an even more important role in our local economy. 

“We want this work to continue and to formally recognise the contribution that these organisations make to our communities, and help them secure a sustainable future and access additional external investment.”

The recommendations for Cabinet include investing in the sector and continuing to work with key local organisations like the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Sector Support Calderdale, Voluntary Action Calderdale and Locality on new ways to support our communities.   

Cabinet will also look at ways to further support local organisations with asset transfer requests. To date, the Council has undertaken 15 asset transfers to a range of community organisations, and also registered 9 Assets of Community Value.  

One of these asset transfers is the Threeways Centre in North Halifax, which at the time of transfer in 2013, was one of the largest asset transfers in the country. Cabinet will look to use some of the funding agreed at this year’s Budget Council, to further support this organisation, ensuring further investment of £900k is secured from other funding sources for North Halifax, to improve lives in one of the most deprived parts of the borough. 

It is also recommended that additional funding will be set aside from the allocation to the sector to enable one-off help for organisations in crisis. 

Community Foundation for Calderdale Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the VCS Chief Officer Group, Steve Duncan DL, said: 

“I am extremely pleased that the Council is planning to formally recognise the importance of the VCS to the future of Calderdale.  As Chair of the Chief Officers Group we have been discussing with the Council how we raise the profile of the sector, both the challenges that organisations are facing with cuts in grant funding and increased demand but also the sector’s resilience and ambition to be a real partner  for the Council.  

“I really welcome the recommendations in this report to put additional investment in the sector and hope that this is the start of ongoing dialogue about how we can work together for the benefit of all of Calderdale’s communities.”

The item will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday 10 May, at Halifax Town Hall at 6pm.

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