Government's drive for savings makes charities suffer, says Rotherham MP

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Speaking in the House of Commons today, Sarah Champion, local MP spoke about the pressure placed on charities as a result of the government procurement process. In Rotherham, small and medium sized charities are struggling to keep afloat because of moves towards larger scale procurement. Does the Minister agree that whilst procurement can make savings, it can also cause suffering? Sarah asked.

Her question comes as the Rotherham MP has growing concerns that government contracts are becoming too large for charities and the voluntary sector to bid for. This particularly affects medium sized charities, who are now finding that their work is too extensive to be fully dependant on grant funding, but that they cannot access government contracts, which are increasingly being outsourced to large contracting companies like G4S.

Sarah commented: I appreciate the need for efficiency, but my concern is that whilst the government is making savings, vulnerable service users are suffering and charity staff are losing their jobs.

In Rotherham, this is becoming an increasing problem. Small and medium sized charities are consistently losing out when it comes to large scale contracting. More needs to be done by this government to level the playing field so that local charities are able to sustain their valuable work.

I'm not asking for favours or handouts, just a level playing field that the voluntary sector can compete on.

Janet Wheatley, Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Rotherham said: It is really important to work with local voluntary and community sector organisations at all stages of the commissioning and procurement process. This means we can make best value of the local experience, skills and relationships that already exist within our communities and as a result deliver services which are most effective in meeting local needs.

NewsVanessa Johns